2017 Progress Report: Climate Change Mitigation in Low-Income Communities in Colorado: Home Weatherization Impacts on Respiratory Health and Indoor Air Quality during Wildfires

EPA Grant Number: R835752
Title: Climate Change Mitigation in Low-Income Communities in Colorado: Home Weatherization Impacts on Respiratory Health and Indoor Air Quality during Wildfires
Investigators: Miller, Shelly , Adgate, John L. , Carlton, Elizabeth , Root, Elisabeth
Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder , Colorado School of Public Health , University of Colorado at Denver
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2017 (Extended to June 30, 2018)
Project Period Covered by this Report: November 1, 2016 through October 31,2017
Project Amount: $999,899
RFA: Indoor Air and Climate Change (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Climate Change , Air

Objective:

The output of this work is a quantitative analysis exploring the relationship between home air-tightness and respiratory health in low-income homes. A sub-analysis comparing housing characteristics and respiratory health of weatherized and non-weatherized homes will also be examined upon project completion. This information is crucial to determine how the tightness of a home’s building shell impacts occupant health and how current practices related to improving energy efficiency may be modified to improve energy savings and maintain a healthy indoor environment. Additional analysis of indoor air quality during wildfires will provide an understanding of how protective the building shell can be during episodes of high air pollution.

Progress Summary:

Progress to date has been excellent. Our field campaign ended September 2017. For the main healthy study, 226 single family detached residential buildings were assessed with questionnaires, household walkthrough inspection of each room, and blower door testing. 113 of the homes were confirmed to have energy retrofit changes made to the building systems and/or building envelope in the recent years. In total there were 303 participants. Of those, 258 participants attempted and completed the spirometry procedure to the required specifications. For the wildfire and indoor air quality study, Indoor and outdoor measurements of PM2.5, HCHO, NO2, CO, CO2, Black Carbon, and O3 were collected in 26 homes during two wildfire seasons May through September. Data analysis and modeling are ongoing and drafts of four papers have been started. Three advisory board meeting were held in May 2016, Dec 2016 and Nov 2017. Feedback from the advisory team were incorporated in the study design and execution.

Future Activities:

We plan to complete all data analysis and modeling in the next few months and publish the study papers. A no-cost extension was granted through June 2018 for this purpose.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 6 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

energy efficiency, blower door, ventilation, air exchange rates, forced expiratory volume, ACH50

Relevant Websites:

http://www.colorado.edu/cuweatherize/ Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • Final Report