Reduce the impact of exterior environmental pollution in southwestern Pennsylvania to create 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
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:
Situations in which outdoor air is a significant threat to health indoors are of high concern.
Children and people with respiratory health issues are particularly susceptible to air pollution.
Continued research is needed to clarify health impacts, particularly interactive effects, of environmental sources of pollution.
Source control is the ideal method of managing health concerns from all pollutants.
Due to variations in weather, season, space, and time, identifying the source of outdoor pollutants can prove difficult.
Accurate and inexpensive sensors, when available, have a strategic role to play in measuring indoor pollutant levels and the impact of interventions.
Low-income families often deal with substandard housing, proximity to pollutant sources, and unaffordable mitigation measures.
In-home monitoring should be accessible to all, either through equipment loans or community-based projects.
Systems to reduce pollution exposure may have an energy cost but can also be an integral part of a comprehensive energy use reduction effort.
There is a critical need to demonstrate and disseminate mitigation solutions, incorporating continual improvement to assess efficacy and refine guidance.
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.
Launch of 50th LCMP Cohort!
Over 400 LCMP Participants to Date
May 2021: Launch of Purple Air Plots, an online visualization tool
Nov 2020: Collaboration with ACCAN to deploy interventions in Ohio Valley homes begins
June–Sept 2020: Deployment of the Air Filter Project serving 47 households in Clairton, PA
Apr 2020: First Virtual LCMP Cohort
2017–2020: Collaboration with Conservation Consultants, Inc. CCI provides meeting, work, and storage space in Pgh’s SouthSide
Oct 2019: ROCIS team shifts to virtual workspace. Equipment storage near Waynesburg, PA.
Jan 2018: Release of ROCIS Guidance Document, “Ducted Range Hoods: Recommendations for New and Existing Homes”
Aug 2017: Launch of ROCIS Data Explorer
May 2017: Launch of ROCIS Data Averager
Feb 26, 2016: ROCIS Stakeholders Meeting
Insights From and Implications of the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project
Feb 2016: Launch of Weebly Dygraph to compare participants’ outdoor data
Sept 2015: First LCMP Cohort
Feb 27, 2015: ROCIS Stakeholders Meeting
Next Steps: Western PA Initiatives to Reduce Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces
Dec 4–5, 2014:
Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) ROCIS Forum
Creating Healthy Places: Protecting Indoor Spaces from Outdoor Pollutants
Nov 21–25, 2014: Focus on Particles Webinar
Part I: Indoor Concentrations of Outdoor Air Pollution
Brent Stephens, Ph.D.
Part II: Health Impacts, Standards, Monitoring, and Building-level Mitigation
Nov 15, 2014: Publication of ROCIS White Papers
“Protecting Homes from Outdoor Pollution”
by Don Fugler
“Protecting Commercial Buildings from Outdoor Pollutants: School, Office, and Multifamily Buildings”
by Thomas J. Phillips (Appendix)
Sept 11, 2014: ROCIS Stakeholders Meeting
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)
Jul 23, 2014: First ROCIS Stakeholders Meeting
Don Fugler presents “Protecting Homes from Outdoor Pollution”: Presentation slides (PDF), Presentation video (MP4 - 304MB), Presentation video (WebM), Presentation audio (MP3)
Phil Johnson presents "SWPA Outdoor Pollutants: Context": Presentation slides (PDF),Presentation video (MP4 - 130MB),Presentation video (WebM),Presentation audio (MP3)
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!