2015 Progress Report: Combining Measurements and Models to Predict the Impacts of Climate Change and Weatherization on Indoor Air Quality and Chronic Health Effects in U.S. Residences


EPA Grant Number: R835750
Title: Combining Measurements and Models to Predict the Impacts of Climate Change and Weatherization on Indoor Air Quality and Chronic Health Effects in U.S. Residences

Investigators: Stephens, Brent
Institution: Illinois Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2017 (Extended to October 31, 2018)
Project Period Covered by this Report: November 1, 2014 through October 31,2015
Project Amount: $499,974
RFA: Indoor Air and Climate Change (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Climate Change , Air

Objective:

The objectives of this research are to use a combination of field measurements and a nationally representative set of dynamic residential indoor air quality models to predict indoor exposures and associated chronic health effects of several priority pollutants of both indoor and outdoor origin across (1) the current U.S. residential building stock; (2) the current U.S. residential building stock under future climate scenarios of 2050 and 2080; and (3) the future U.S. building stock under future climate scenarios of 2050 and 2080 considering a number of climate policy scenarios that lead to widespread application of weatherization retrofits and turnover of the existing building stock to more energy efficient homes.

Progress Summary:

Work on this project is progressing approximately as planned. Per the original proposal, ~25% of the first year of the project was to be spent on developing the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). The QAPP was successfully developed in the first few months of the project and has been submitted and approved by the project officer. Also per the original proposal, the remaining ~75% of the first year of the project was to be spent on (1) conducting field measurements and (2) constructing and applying indoor air quality (IAQ) models. Both of these activities have begun successfully and are currently in progress. Most of the results (i.e., outputs and outcomes) to date involve applications of refined pollutant infiltration measurement methods, including measurements conducted (1) in an unoccupied test apartment unit and (2) in three residential field sites both before and after weatherization retrofits have occurred. These results provide some of the first known measurements of envelope penetration factors for PM2.5, ultrafine particles, ozone, and NOx made in residences operating under normal conditions using newly developed rapid test methods, as well as the first known measurements of how these parameters change after weatherization retrofits have occurred. Infiltration factors (i.e., the indoor/outdoor ratio in the absence of indoor sources) have also been measured for these same pollutants, as well as for black carbon (BC). These are significant findings for the field and are directly in line with the goals of the award, the Agency’s mission, and their practical applications. No conclusive results have been obtained from the modeling efforts at this point in time, which is in accordance with the original project schedule.

Future Activities:

  1. Continue to collect field data in homes before and after retrofits following the methods we have already developed/revised in the first year of the project. We have 27 homes remaining to test per the original proposal, and we plan to recruit as many of these remaining homes as possible in the next year.
  2. Continue to develop and begin to apply the nationally representative residential IAQ model set to meet the stated expected outcomes of this project.
  3. Continue to disseminate results through peer-reviewed publications and engagement with academic and practitioner audiences.


Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 10 publications 3 publications in selected types All 3 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Zhao D, Azimi P, Stephens B. Evaluating the long-term health and economic impacts of central residential air filtration for reducing premature mortality associated with indoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of outdoor origin. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2015;12(7):8448-8479. R835750 (2015)
R835750 (2016)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: IJERPH-Full Text-HTML
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  • Abstract: IJERPH-Abstract
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  • Other: IJERPH-Full Text-PDF
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  • Journal Article Zhao H, Stephens B. A method to measure the ozone penetration factor in residences under infiltration conditions: application in a multifamily apartment unit. Indoor Air 2016;26(4):571-581. R835750 (2015)
    R835750 (2016)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: The Built Environment Research Group-Full Text-PDF
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  • Abstract: Wiley Online-Abstract
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  • Other: ResearchGate-Abstract & Full Text-PDF
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  • Journal Article Zhao H, Stephens B. Using portable particle sizing instrumentation to rapidly measure the penetration of fine and ultrafine particles in unoccupied residences. Indoor Air 2017;27(1):218-229. R835750 (2015)
    R835750 (2016)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Wiley-Full Text-HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: Wiley-Abstract
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  • Other: Wiley-Full Text-PDF
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Indoor exposures, ozone, particulate matter, housing, nitrogen dioxide, black carbon, ventilation, infiltration, modeling;

    Relevant Websites:

    The Built Environment Research Group | Indoor air and climate change Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
    2016 Progress Report