ROCIS Mission

Our mission is to reduce the impact of exterior environmental pollution in southwestern Pennsylvania,  creating healthy and energy efficient indoor environments.


Create a collective vision for healthy working, living, and learning environments

Develop the knowledge and capacity of organizations and individuals to improve indoor air quality

Catalyze collaboration within a community of stakeholders

ROCIS Objectives

Support, broaden & engage the ROCIS stakeholder network

Facilitate the use of low-cost monitoring equipment

Develop effective behavioral & technical interventions to improve indoor air quality

Disseminate ROCIS findings throughout southwestern PA and beyond

ROCIS Core Principles

We spend a lot of time indoors, whether that’s in residential or commercial/institutional settings. Exposure to indoor pollutants, some of which infiltrate from outside, can have adverse health impacts.

Rather than treating indoor and outdoor pollution as two separate public health concerns, ROCIS sees them as closely related. That’s why we work to empower our stakeholders—citizens, leaders, nonprofits, schools, designers, and contractors—to respond effectively to this environmental and health concern and reduce exposure to air pollutants, especially airborne particles.

These are the core principles that guide our work:

    1. Situations in which outdoor air is a significant threat to health indoors are of high concern.
    2. Children and people with respiratory health issues are particularly susceptible to air pollution.
    3. Continued research is needed to clarify health impacts, particularly interactive effects, of environmental sources of pollution.
    4. Source control is the ideal method of managing health concerns from all pollutants.
    5. Due to variations in weather, season, space, and time, identifying the source of outdoor pollutants can prove difficult.
    6. Accurate and inexpensive sensors, when available, have a strategic role to play in measuring indoor pollutant levels and the impact of interventions.
    7. Low-income families often deal with substandard housing, proximity to pollutant sources, and unaffordable mitigation measures.
    8. In-home monitoring should be accessible to all, either through equipment loans or community-based projects.
    9. Systems to reduce pollution exposure may have an energy cost but can also be an integral part of a comprehensive energy use reduction effort.
    10. There is a critical need to demonstrate and disseminate mitigation solutions, incorporating continual improvement to assess efficacy and refine guidance.

ROCIS Timeline

Since 2014, the ROCIS team has been working to reduce the impact of outdoor contaminants in indoor spaces. With expertise in indoor air quality, monitoring, energy performance, public health, behavioral and technical interventions, and data analytics, our team members have delivered presentations, webinars, and white papers on air quality, monitoring, and interventions to reduce exposure.

Through initiatives like the Low Cost Monitoring Project (LCMP) and the Clairton Air Filter Project, we’ve put that knowledge into practice. We have also developed numerous tools to help residents visualize and understand the air quality in the places they live, work, and learn.

We’re excited to continue this work well into the future.


September 11, 2014

Thomas J. Phillips presents “Protecting Commercial Buildings from Outdoor Pollutants: School, Office, and Multifamily Buildings”:

Presentation slides (PDF)
Presentation video (MP4 – 372MB)
Presentation video (WebM)
Presentation audio (MP3)

November 15, 2014

Publication of ROCIS White Papers

November 21-25, 2014

Part I: Indoor Concentrations of Outdoor Air Pollution by Brent Stephens, Ph.D.

Part II: Health Impacts, Standards, Monitoring, and Building-level Mitigation by Bill Turner

December 4-5, 2014

Creating Healthy Places: Protecting Indoor Spaces from Outdoor Pollutants


February 27, 2015

Next Steps: Western PA Initiatives to Reduce Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces

September 2015

February 2016

Launch of Weebly Dygraph to compare participants’ outdoor data

February 26, 2016

Insights From and Implications of the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project


May 2017

August 2017

January 2018

Release of ROCIS Guidance Document, “Ducted Range Hoods: Recommendations for New and Existing Homes

October 2019

ROCIS team shifts to virtual workspace. Equipment storage near Waynesburg, PA.

2017 - 2020

Collaboration with Conservation Consultants, Inc. CCI provides meeting, work, and storage space in Pgh’s SouthSide

April 2020

First Virtual LCMP Cohort

June - September 2020

Deployment of the Air Filter Project serving 47 households in Clairton, PA

November 2020

Collaboration with ACCAN to deploy interventions in Ohio Valley homes begins


May 2021

Launch of Purple Air Plots, an online visualization tool

December 2021

Launch of 50th LCMP Cohort!

Over 400 LCMP Participants to date

Thank you to the following organizations for partnering with us

A special thank you to The Heinz Endowments for its support of the ROCIS initiative!