Indoor Concentrations of Outdoor Air Pollution


Particles I: Indoor Concentrations of Outdoor Air Pollution  (11/21/2014)

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How much of the particulate matter in outdoor air get inside?  Are there inexpensive ways to predict indoor concentrations of outdoor particle pollution based on simple house characteristics and building operation? Brent Stephens will discuss his work on pathways that allow outdoor particulate matter to infiltrate into living spaces. He has investigated the link between building envelope airtightness and outdoor particle penetration. Participants will gain a better understanding of variables and the magnitude of their impact. These variables include: outdoor pollutant concentrations, building envelope characteristics, house tightness, pressure effects, filtration, and deposition.


Participants will be able to: 

1)  Identify why outdoor particulate matter is of concern to indoor air quality and health impact

2)  Be able to identify factors that impact the movement and exposure of occupants in indoor environments to outdoor particles

3) Cite limitations of this study and our understanding of indoor concentrations of outdoor pollutants

4) List three mitigation strategies that may be deployed with the intent of reducing indoor particle loads from outdoor pollution sources

PRESENTER: Brent Stephens, Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

Dr. Brent Stephens is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He has a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and an M.S.E. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, both from the University of Texas at Austin. Brent and members of his Built Environment Research Group (BERG) ( at IIT conduct research on the intersections of energy and air quality in the built environment, primarily with field measurements in and around buildings. Their work continues to advance building science methods for assessing energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and environmental exposures within buildings.

RESPONDENT: Don Fugler, ROCIS Principal Investigator, Residential Focus, Ottawa, Ontario

Don spent 25 years conducting research projects for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), in the areas of residential energy use, ventilation, and indoor air quality. Between 1985 and 2010, he managed over 100 research projects. Since 2011, Don’s consulting work has addressed indoor air quality and energy issues for federal departments, NGOs, and individuals. He taught part of the IAQ course for Healthy Indoor Air Partnership training for HVAC and environmental professionals, and is continuing work on CSA standard committee F300 (depressurization issues), and CGSB (radon).

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