Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 52.40
Liaison Mary Fischer
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Brandeis University
OP-3: Indoor Air Quality

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Andrew Finn
Environmental Health and Safety Officer
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Occupied building space covered by an indoor air quality plan, policy, and/or practices that include regular auditing or monitoring and a mechanism for occupants to register complaints :
2,670,000 Square feet

Total occupied building space :
2,670,000 Square feet

A brief description of the institution's indoor air quality plan, policy, and/or practices:

1. Overview and Plan

The Brandeis Indoor Air Quality Management Plan has been established to ensure that everyone on the Waltham campus is adequately protected from potential indoor air quality problems. The intent is to ensure that monitoring, maintenance, investigation and corrective and preventive actions systems are in place and communicated to ensure proper indoor air quality.

The University shall maintain operating systems and controls as well as the protocols set forth in this Plan to ensure that sufficient controls and evaluation processes are in place to prevent building occupants from being exposed to inadequate air quality in University buildings. Corrective and preventive actions will be implemented based on the resources and knowledge available.

2. Air Quality Monitoring & Control

Control of general indoor air quality is the responsibility of the Facilities Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) Department. Indoor air quality is managed through Energy Management and associated systems for the 110 buildings on campus:

Energy Management System (EMS)- Brandeis utilizes its Siemens Apogee energy management system, which monitors environmental conditions of campus HVAC systems. The EMS is designed to control indoor air quality by constantly maintaining fresh air changes as well as monitoring system performance and sensors for proper operation and that IAQ is maintained within acceptable levels. The EMS system monitors conditions and will remotely alert staff if an abnormal condition exist 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3. Notification and Evaluation Procedures

The following procedures are to provide general guidance for actions to be taken for various scenarios relating to indoor air quality issues.

• General indoor air quality complaints can be filed with Facilities Services at
x6-8500. Calls are dispatched to either a Facilities Supervisor or directly to a trade person for evaluation.

• Brandeis staff can file a work order by going to the Facilities Services web page at: http://www.brandeis.edu/facilities/. A link on the page “Submit a work order request” allows for this process which tracks an assigned work order to a specific issue.

• If additional assistance is needed for odors or other unsolved IAQ issues in a building, Facilities may coordinate with the EH&S Department (6-4262) to conduct a thorough visual investigation and possible assessment of indoor air quality including potential sampling by the EH&S Department or third party consultants.

• Staff can also file a any issues with the EH&S Department on its web page at: http://www.brandeis.edu/ehs/ask.html.

4. IAQ Investigation & Corrective Actions

Brandeis Facilities Services, through the HVAC Department is constantly monitoring a variety of indoor air criteria and can adjust ventilation systems accordingly. Despite the controls in place, there are occasionally odors or occupant experiences including symptoms that may include headache, dizziness, eye irritation, congestion, dry nasal passages and others that may indicate some type of indoor air issue. When faced with these issues and when normal HVAC adjustments do not seem to have alleviated the issue, Facilities will contact the EH&S Department.

An IAQ evaluation will follow and generally will include investigation of many of the following:

-Building ventilation system
-Temperature and relative humidity
-Odor conditions
-Evaluation of indoor spaces (furnishings, food storage, plants, perfumes, building materials etc.)
-Microbiological conditions (molds, spores, fungi)
-Other possible airborne contaminants (CO, CO2, VOCs, diesel fumes, etc.)

The EH&S Department shall utilize the resources available and when necessary third party consultants to assist in the evaluation of potential sources of air quality contaminants. A report of possible findings shall be shared with the affected parties and corrective and preventive actions taken to alleviate the issue(s). The EH&S Department has a variety of tools available to help evaluate issues including 4-gas meter, moisture sensor, temperature and humidity meter, combustible gas meter, video borescope inspection camera.

The EH&S Department will retain all IAQ reports.

Based upon the evaluations of the HVAC Department, EH&S and third party contractor input where necessary, Brandeis will take the necessary actions to correct known IAQ issues. Past corrective and preventive action strategies have included HVAC adjustment, equipment repairs, odor source removal, construction material removal and repair, administrative controls and other actions to mitigate indoor air concerns.

5. References

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services: Guidance Concerning Remediation and Prevention of Mold Growth and Water Damage in Public Schools/Buildings to Maintain Air Quality


Institute for Environmental Education (IEE)

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Indoor Air Quality site

Occupation Safety and Health Administration Indoor Air Quality site

The website URL where information about the institution's indoor air quality initiatives is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.