Integrated Measurements and Modeling Using US Smart Homes to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Indoor Air Quality

EPA Grant Number: R835756
Title: Integrated Measurements and Modeling Using US Smart Homes to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Indoor Air Quality
Investigators: Lamb, Brian , Cook, Diane , Jobson, B. Thomas , Kirk, W. Max , Pressley, Shelley N. , Walden, Von P.
Institution: Washington State University
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2017 (Extended to October 31, 2018)
Project Amount: $996,588
RFA: Indoor Air and Climate Change (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Climate Change , Air

Objective:

The overall goal is to improve our understanding of the complex intersection between indoor air quality and climate change. Our objectives are to address three specific science questions: 1) How do local climate conditions, including extremes in the range of weather conditions, affect indoor air quality factors including energy consumption, ventilation rates, occupant behavior, and indoor pollution levels and are there generalizations that occur across the ensemble of buildings and locations? 2) How well does the CONTAM indoor air quality model perform for the range of conditions and buildings in our Smart Home ensemble? 3) For future climate conditions what are the projected indoor air quality levels in a set of buildings representative of US housing stocks, and how sensitive are these levels to plausible changes in building properties and human behavior?

Approach:

Our research program will implement automated ventilation rate and indoor air quality measurements in a subset of Smart Home/Smart Meter structures to yield a comprehensive data base for assessment of the effects of climate variability, including extreme weather events, on occupant behavior, energy consumption, and corresponding indoor air quality. The research program will be focused on structures in the Smart Home campaign in the Pullman, WA area, but will be supplemented by similar measurements for selected Smart Home structures elsewhere in the US, including at least one zero net energy home. The Smart Home indoor air quality data base will also be used for evaluation of the CONTAM indoor air quality model which, in turn, will be used to investigate how changes in climate, derived for the 2050s from downscaled climate and air quality projections, affect indoor air quality. For this latter step we can take advantage of a US database of 209 building types representing US housing stocks and compiled for CONTAM modeling purposes.

Expected Results:

This project will provide key outputs in terms of the Smart Home IAQ data base and simulation results for a range of current and future conditions for a diverse set of buildings representing the US housing stock. Analyses of these products in peer reviewed manuscripts will have the outcome of a better understanding of the complexity that exists at the intersection of climate change and indoor air quality and how such complexity can be addressed in future policy developments.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 3 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

CONTAM indoor air quality model, building energy consumption, ventilation rates, indoor pollutants

Progress and Final Reports:

2015 Progress Report
2016 Progress Report