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Monitoring and Evaluation of Air Pollution in Residential and Commercial Buildings: Development and Implementation of Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Justice Frameworks for Communities and Energy Conservation Districts

Rickenbacker, Harold (2019) Monitoring and Evaluation of Air Pollution in Residential and Commercial Buildings: Development and Implementation of Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Justice Frameworks for Communities and Energy Conservation Districts. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The over-arching theme of this work is to explore indoor air quality in two communities and two building types: an energy conservation district (ECD) focusing on commercial buildings and Environmental Justice (EJ) communities focusing on residential buildings.

In the first part of this research, a framework was developed for monitoring and addressing indoor air pollution in the context of an ECD in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, comprised of 518 buildings. Indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments were performed in eight representative buildings, ranging from green certified to historic buildings, comparing exposure events at diurnal and seasonal time scales. Both the sampling data and feedback from building stakeholders, informed the development of an IAQ survey, which was used to establish a performance baseline and guide the future operation and maintenance (O&M) of buildings in the district. While several national and international organizations offer standards for pollution levels and techniques to measure ambient air, there are no consistent metrics or methods for assessing and monitoring IAQ for an entire community.

The second part of this research uses a community-based approach and developed a framework to address environmental justice issues in underserved communities. Resident-led trainings and workshops, and citizen science campaigns were used to increase environmental consciousness at the grassroots. As distrust in outside institutions has limited the reach of environmental justice research in underserved communities, this research highlights the importance of bottom-up principles that involve residents in the process of goal-setting and execution of academic research. The third and final component of this research focuses on residential structures; seasonal IAQ assessments were conducted in thirteen homes situated in low-income neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA. Indoor and ambient air quality data, and quality of life (QOL) survey results were then combined with outcomes from a local citizen science initiative to explore the relationship between air pollution and QOL. Although the effects were less profound than expected, the analysis marks the beginning of needed research on IAQ and QOL that will serve as the basis of future work and supplement a larger field campaign led by the research team.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rickenbacker, Haroldhjr12@pitt.eduhjr12
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBilec, Melissambilec@pitt.edumbilec
Committee MemberKhanna, Vikaskhannav@pitt.edukhannav
Committee MemberNg, Carlacarla.ng@pitt.educarla.ng
Committee MemberWallace, Johnjohnw@pitt.edujohnw
Date: 10 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 June 2019
Approval Date: 10 September 2019
Submission Date: 19 June 2019
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 202
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indoor air quality, outdoor air quality, energy conservation districts, environmental justice, quality of life, particulate matter
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2019 18:39
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2019 18:39
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/36921

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