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Workshops

(Keynote/Workshop Day - Thursday, April 16, 2015)

Workshop Rotation Schedule to be Posted Here Soon


The 2015 Northeast Indoor Air Quality & Energy Conference features more than a dozen workshops to help you and your business create healthy, sustainable indoor spaces.  We have sessions on building science, energy efficiency, investigations, sampling, design and construction, facility operations and management, IAQ and health, risk management, ventilation, marketing, and project management.  No matter how your work connects you to the indoor environment, there is a workshop (or two, or three, or more!) here for you.

Workshops in Alphabetical Order...


Answering Those Unanswered Questions on Residential Ventilation:  A Controlled Energy Efficient, Effective Approach
Presenter:  Kurt Johnson - Fresh Air Ventilation, Inc., Lewiston, ME

Many opinions and controversies exist on how to ventilate a home. Costs, design, HRV vs. ERV, energy savings, distribution, and more, are all highly debated. Do we even need to? What does the standard or code say? Can we over ventilate? If so, at what cost? Should it be turned off in really cold weather and during the summer? If so, when do we need it?

This presentation is designed to cover the basics of the truth about the costs, effectiveness and design of a basic ventilation strategy that works. The session will also cover the in-service issues of running and maintaining a system, ERV vs. HRV, as well as the latest studies and what they say. How much does it cost to run a system and how much will I save, or not save on heating? Attendees are encouraged to bring their questions, expect to get some sound answers based on science and physics and experiences.


Bad Smells and No Dog to Blame

Presenter:  Steve Caulfield, P.E., CIH – Turner Building Science & Design, Harrison, ME

This session will focus on effective IAQ Diagnostics for tracking down the source of bad odors that come and go and have no obvious identifiable source.  It will be geared to the IAQ diagnostic professionals who are often called on to figure things out, and make corrective actions recommendations. It will focus on effective techniques and case study examples.

 


 

Black, Brown, Green and White: What You Can Learn from Stains

Presenter: Jeffrey May – May Indoor Investigations, Tyngsborough, MA

Stains tell a story, including how small design or construction errors can lead to big headaches. Attendees will learn to identify various types of stains, and come to recognize how different stain patterns point to different moisture sources and their locations. Condensation, soot patterns, efflorescence, extractives, and mold growth will be discussed.

Topic Category(ies): Facility Operations and Maintenance, Building Design and Construction, Investigations, Testing & Research, Occupant Health/Medical Issues

Presentation level:            Intermediate to advanced

 


Combined Heat & Power
Presenters:  Michael Chonko and Katherine Everett, SMRT

Description:  Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a method to generate onsite electricity and heat for use in commercial and industrial buildings.  Recent Efficiency Maine incentives make this system option much more cost viable both to study and to install.  CHP represents one of several localized power generating components of the future of power generation in the distributed grid and differs from the traditional centralized power plant power generation model.  The benefits include better control over utility costs, power reliability and power quality.  Onsite power generation can vary from very small, a few kW to very large in to the MW range and can utilize a large variety of fuel sources and available technologies.  Balancing the year around electrical and heating needs are essential to properly applying this technology.


Community Scale Net Zero Energy Homes & IAQ

Karla Donnelly - Steven Winter Associates, Norwalk, CT

None of our energy efficiency work matters if we don't also improve indoor air quality and protect occupant health. Net zero energy was the initial goal for the 25 homes and the 15 unit multi-family building for the new TREE Community at Eco Village in Ithaca, New York. Triple pane windows, double stud insulated walls, a continuous air barrier, and attention to air sealing contribute to the super insulated, air tight shell.

The first phase of homes tested less than 0.6 ACH50, is LEED for Homes Platinum certified, Energy Star, Indoor airPLUS, Water Sense labeled, and anticipating PHIUS Certification. All 25 single family homes will be final tested and verified by July 2014. The multi family building will be final tested and verified mid fall 2014. The early involvement of third party consulting and verification allowed the conversation to evolve from energy efficiency to occupant health and safety.

Ductwork for the Energy Recovery Ventilator was carefully sealed with mastic to ensure each room was supplied within 5 cfm and exhaust within 20% of the design values. And while attention was paid to the fresh air ventilation, the team was also careful with material choices so as to not introduce unnecessary chemicals and VOCs. Shoe removal is encouraged when entering the homes, all the flooring is hard surface (no carpets), and low VOC paint and finishes were used. And while the team chose closed cell foam insulation plus blown in cellulose in the wall cavities, the homes were allowed to off gas prior to sheetrock installation. There are no combustion appliances in the all electric homes but CO monitors were still installed on each floor. Solar thermal provides domestic hot water and when the 4.4 kW photo voltaic system was installed the HERS Indexes went from 39 to 15. And while the predicted energy use is only $546 per year, we all know that occupant use is a big factor so several of the homes are being monitored for actual energy use and humidity.

The homes are monitored for energy use, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide levels. That data is now being compiled into comparisons between predicted and actual use and influencing controls for the ERV.

This case study is presented from the perceptive of the 3rd party verifier and emphasizes the verification and testing procedures with lessons learned demonstrated. 

Goal/Outcome 1: Share techniques that were successful for a tight thermal envelope

Goal/Outcome 2: Discuss challenges with ERV installation, ducting, and testing

Goal/Outcome 3: Identify lessons learned, specifically with material selection installed in extreme temperatures

 


Designing and Building Small Houses

Presenter:  Jim Bahoosh, Builder, Morrill, ME

This session will promote the viability of smaller homes. Reducing the building envelope also reduces maintenance costs, and lowers energy and resource usage. A smaller envelope also simplifies the control of our interior environment. And, simple, elegant design of a smaller home enhances overall quality of life.

Small, in terms of this presentation, is 500-900 square feet. 

Who should attend:  builders, designers, and prospective home owners.


 

Exposure to Allergens and Endotoxins in Homes, Schools and Workplaces:  A Review of the Latest Science
Presenter:  Eva M. King, MSc., PhD, Head of Immunoassay Department, Indoor Biotechnologies, Inc., Charlottesville, VA

In recent decades there has been a progressive increase in the prevalence and morbidity of asthma and allergic disease in many parts of the world.  A large proportion of the world’s population is affected by allergies, and current data suggest that approximately 10% of US children have asthma.  Allergen exposure in the home, school and workplace is a major risk factor for the development of allergic disease such as allergic rhinitis and asthma.

In recent years, a number of research studies have highlighted the role of exposures to allergens as well as other factors in determining health outcomes of allergic individuals, and indicate that the causal relationship between exposure and health effect may be far more complicated than previously assumed.  This presentation will provide a summary of relevant findings of the newest peer-reviewed scientific studies of allergen and endotoxin exposures, health effects of allergen exposure itself, as well as co-results of the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and other epidemiologic surveys conducted in schools and homes, occupational exposures in laboratory animal facilities, and other work environments.  The session will finish with a brief update on the scientific evidence for the hype around “hypo-allergenic pets.”


 

Getting a Good Commercial Enclosure
Presenter:  Terry Brennan, Principal, Camroden Associates, Westmoreland, NY

What do I have to do to get an enclosure that works in a commercial or institutional building?  I mean airtight, no rain leaks, no condensation, and no thermal bridges.  And maybe no pests taking up residence.  Airtightness is a crucial part of a good enclosure.  Typical commercial buildings range from 0.3 to 0.5 CFM75/ft2 enclosure.  By tightening up the commercial assemblies we’ve used for the past two decades, you can get down to around 0.20 to 0.30 CFM75/ft2.  If you want to go tighter you have to change to details that allow you to wrap the building like a present.  The tightest commercial building I’ve tested 0.036 CFM75/ft2 – around twice as tight as Passive House.  The leakiest:  around 3 CFM75/ft2.

This session will discuss the critical steps that need to happen to get a good commercial building enclosure.  We will discuss:

One - get it in the drawings.

Two - get it in the specs.

Three – QA inspection, testing and documentation

Four – heading off problems and fixing things that went wrong. 

Five - final testing and documentation.  Blower door testing big buildings.


Great Ventilation:  Why We Do It; How We Do It

Presenters:  Barry Stephens - Zehnder America, and Fred Gordon

Great ventilation adoption is plagued with the age-old cost limitation.  This session will explore how energy efficiency and health will break down barriers related to costs. Ventilation is one of the hottest topics in the building science world these days. There is discussion that the ASHRAE 62.2 standard will be significantly changed for the 2016 version. And urban health issues are rising and increasingly part of the discussion.

The presenters will draw from their experiences building a Passive House multi-use development in South Boston--a very significant project for energy efficiency as well as health. Fred has been very focused on the health issues, and has gathered significant references and data, and combined with the NEEA study comparing different ventilation methods for single family homes, we have some really interesting things to talk about. Our intent with the presentation is to discuss the how and the why of optimum ventilation, and then to tie it all up by showing the cost advantages for doing so. (Both energy costs, and health costs.)

Learning Objectives:

1) Participants will be able to understand the different methods of ventilation for buildings.

2) Participants will understand the need for dilution of indoor pollutants.

3) Participants will understand the need for filtration of outdoor contaminants for ventilation air.

4) Participants will understand the cost implications for providing optimum ventilation.

 


High Performance Homes Don't Need to Be Weird, Look Ugly, or Cost Too Much
Presenters:  William A. Turner, P.E., Turner Building Science & Design, Harrison Maine and David Johnston, Builder, David Johnston & Company, Gorham, ME

This session will focus on cost effective, proven methods for constructing high performance and healthy homes in climate zone 5, 6, and 7 in the Northeast. A session similar to this was conduct by the presenters at ABX Boston 2014, and was rated by over 70 Architects as one of the best sessions that they had ever attended, and a great value for their expenditure. It will be geared to Architects, Builders, Framing and Insulation Contractors, and IAQ Professionals. It will focus on performance of the building enclosure as part of an integrated system in new homes or during retrofits.


Legally Defensible Mold Investigation Strategies
Presenter:  Jack Springston, CIH, CSP - TRC Environmental Corporation, New York, NY

This presentation will provide some basic information regarding the science of molds, contributing factors to mold problems and common causes of water intrusion, and will then focus on legally defensible mold investigation strategies. Attendees will learn that there are two hypothesis categories for mold investigations, those that address only the  environment, and those that address human exposure. The first hypothesis category addresses questions such as “is there mold in this crawl space” or “are mold spores from the crawl space entering the occupied space”, while the second hypothesis category addresses questions such as “are reported health problems caused by agents present in the building environment”? The two types of error that can occur when testing a hypothesis will be discussed. Several real world examples of environmental testing will be presented. In addition, limitations in microbial air sampling techniques and analyses, particularly for spore trap sampling, will be discussed in detail.

Presentation Level:  Intermediate level audience and is geared towards industrial hygienists and individuals experienced in performing indoor air quality and microbial investigations. Others who may benefit from attending the presentation include architects, engineers and building scientists who deal with mold issues. 

 


 

The Microbiology of Sewage:   Health Risks, and Cleanup

Presenter: David Gallup - EMLab P & K, San Bruno, CA

Sewage exposure is a common concern for IAQ investigators.  To alleviate this concern and manage the risks associated with sewage investigations and remediation, we present a discussion of the microbiology of sewage, exposure scenarios and associated exposure and health risks, and the latest information on remediation. 

The principal risk associated with sewage is infection, and depend on the types of organisms present.   Sewage microbiology is complex, and continuously changing.  The majority of organisms in the sewage mixture are not a risk for human health.  Organisms that may constitute a risk include viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.  Human gut organisms are the primary concern, but organisms from some other sources may also be associated with some risk. 

Sewage microbiology varies according to its source.  For example, single home sewage is associated with the least and most controllable risk, while sewage from hospitals represents a much higher risk.  In the first case, disease in occupants is likely known, and restricted.  In the second, many different disease organisms may be present in unknown relative concentrations. 

We will discuss specific microorganisms associated with infection risk that are likely to be present in the most common scenarios, conditions necessary for exposure, survival of each type of organism, and susceptibility to biocides. 

Finally we will review the steps to cleanup currently recommended, and, where possible, improvements in these recommendations to optimize effectiveness and cost of cleanup.

Attendees of this session will leave with an:

  • Understanding the basic microbiology of sewage from various sources
  • Understanding the health risks associated with these sources
  • Learning best practice for sewage remediation.

Intended Audience:  Most IAQ investigators are likely to be presented with sewage contamination for investigation and remediation.  In addition, building maintenance professional are the first line of defense against risks associated with sewage and can

The information will be presented so that all levels will benefit.  Question and answer periods will be interspersed


 

Moisture and Humidity Control in Buildings:  The New EPA Guidance 
Presenters:  Lew Harriman, Director of Research - Mason Grant Consulting, Portsmouth NH and Terry Brennan, Principal, Camroden Associates, Westmoreland, NY

Description

Persistent and excessive dampness from rainwater and plumbing leaks and from shortcomings in HVAC design can create severe indoor air quality problems and sometimes health risks for building owners and occupants. To reduce such risks, the US EPA has published guidance for architects, engineers and building operators with respect to managing moisture and humidity. These presentations provide practical, actionable suggestions for each of the professional disciplines. The information will also prove useful to any building occupant or homeowner who has had the unfortunate experience of living or working in a building that has a dampness or high humidity problem.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the key aspects of moisture and humidity control from the perspectives of architectural and HVAC design, construction and operation.

2. Understand the background and the rationale for such guidance from the US EPA

The session will be presented in two parts:

Part 1 - Top Ten Tips and Traps from New EPA Guidance for Managing Moisture in Building

Design, Construction and Operation

The problems of mold and dampness in buildings has changed forever the assumptions of designers and building owners about what’s necessary for designing, constructing and operating buildings. This presentation will briefly review the guidance generated by the US EPA as a result of lessons learned and will summarize the changes to building envelope designs and building operation that are appropriate, based on the experience of designers and owners over the last 20 years.

Part 2 - Top 10 Tips and Traps From New EPA Guidance for Managing Moisture and Humidity in HVAC System Design, Installation and Operation

In hot and humid climates, dampness, high humidity loads and frequent rain can and must be assumed to be common and persistent. What’s less obvious is that in all climates, the design of the ventilation system must be based on peak outdoor dew point, and that in cold climates the structure and control of any humidification equipment needs careful attention to avoid problems. This presentation will review many lessons learned over the last 30 years and provide simple suggestions for designers and owners of buildings in all climates for achieving and maintaining economical yet effective humidity control.


Mold And ERMI: Comparing Traditional Investigation & Testing Methods to ERMI

Presenter:  Jason Dobranic, Ph.D. – EMSL, Houston, TX

ERMI is a controversial sampling and analytical method developed by EPA researchers to help understand moldiness in residential homes. Although the underlying science has been published in peer reviewed journals, there are still open questions on its usefulness and appropriateness for some IAQ professionals. This presentation will be an unbiased review of the ERMI comparing it to more traditional methods for determines mold contamination in buildings. A history of the ERMI will be given to get participants familiar with why it was developed in the first place and then more recent publications discussed relating ERMI to health. Comparing and contrasting data obtain from ERMI and traditional methods will highlight differences and provide knowledge to the participants to decide if they find value in performing the ERMI.

Presentation level: intermediate with an intended audience of IAQ professionals, mold consultants, and those interested in investigation and sampling for mold.

 


Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces Initiative: A Case Study in Expanding the Concept of Healthy Buildings
Presenters: Norman Anderson, Environmental Public Health Consultant, Winslow, ME and Linda Wigington, Linda M. Wigington and Associates, Waynesburg, PA

The Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS http://rocis.org/ ) initiative emerged from a collective concern in southwestern Pennsylvania that many outdoor environmental threats were not adequately considered in the programs that address indoor environmental quality. Consultants to the Heinz Endowments assembled a core team of building science professionals to develop framing white papers and webinars, with the input and guidance of local stakeholders. These foundational activities then informed a variety of initiatives of interest locally.  This presentation will summarize key outcomes of the initiative, concluding with a discussion of future directions and opportunities

By the end of this session, participants will understand:

1.       The public health need for considering outdoor pollutant exposures within a Healthy Buildings context

2.       The basic pathways of outdoor pollutant entry and effective methods for reducing exposure.

3.       The opportunities and challenges for integrating outdoor pollutant exposures into building performance activities.

4.       The importance of strong community partnerships in translating knowledge to practice.

5.       The emerging technologies and practices focused on public health assessment and improvement.


Storm Response and Restoring Contaminated Buildings
Presenter:  Scott Carter, Servpro of Maine, Falmouth, ME

This session will teach and explain the special procedures used by professionals in storm and large loss response and contaminated water response.  Storm events may significantly impact the local area they strike, causing damage of a magnitude so great that the storm is followed by chaos and confusion.  While the cleanup and restoration following a storm event can be a long, tedious effort, mitigation efforts must begin quickly to prevent storm-damaged properties from escalating to contaminated properties.  Scott will discuss how the response required in a storm event or large loss must meet the challenges and complexities of those situations while focusing on safety for everyone involved:  the restorer, the building occupants, the property owner, and other interested parties.  I will also discuss the differences in responding to a contaminated water event and the special procedures required.

People attending this presentation willlearn how proper storm response is critical in containing damage to its proper dimension.  They will also learn about large (commercial) buildings restoration.  Lastly, they will learn how restoration of contaminated (black water) losses is handled.

Much of the presentation is based on the guidelines set forth in the IICRC.

Target audience:  commercial property owners, property managers, home inspectors, facilities directors, real estate professionals, environmental and air quality professionals


Toxic Content in Building Products: Pathways for Exposure and Prevention
Presenter:  Jim Vallette, Senior Researcher, Healthy Buildings Network, Southwest Harbor, ME

Indoor air quality programs have dramatically reduced the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of many products like paints and carpets.  However, many programs do not yet address non-VOCs that are also released into the indoor environment.  The recent wave of product content transparency opens new opportunities to tackle emerging health issues related to non-VOC building product contents. 

Knowledge about product information, combined with proactive project design and procurement strategies, can greatly reduce the toxic content in building projects. Selecting healthier building products will benefit construction workers and building occupants.

Learning Objectives

•      Discover the potential for building products to expose occupants to toxic substances that are not Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

•      Identify which certifications and standards address which non-VOC toxicants (and where they don’t yet).

•      Use existing resources that identify and screen products for toxic content.

•      Develop strategies to avoid exposures to toxic content in building materials.


 

Understanding Dust and Particulates – Getting the whole picture with Microanalysis
Jared Kelly, Laboratory Manager, EMSL - Salem, NH

Sample analysis for mold and asbestos related issues are common tools in the IAQ professional toolbox. These targeted tests are extremely helpful in evaluating for these specific materials, but fall flat when these specific particles aren’t in the sample but a problem still exists. This session will cover the broader suite of microanalysis techniques available to cover identifying all of the other particles IAQ investigators run into. MMVF’s, soot, insulation, corrosion, HVAC degradation, allergens, and many other potential sources of particles in the built environment can all be analyzed and quantified. Techniques including electron microscopy, petrographic analysis, and micro-spectroscopy will be covered. The sampling, analysis, and resulting client information available from these tests will be covered – and case studies will be presented to illustrate how these powerful techniques can help IAQ investigations handle all of the cases where mold or asbestos aren’t the answer.


Ventilation Effectiveness In Very Tight Homes
Presenter:  David Hales, Building Systems & Energy Specialist, Washington State University Energy Program, Spokane, WA

Building codes are requiring homes to be built tighter and tighter and be provided with whole house mechanical ventilation. This session reports on a major ventilation study conducted in the Pacific Northwest that evaluated the efficacy of the five most common systems in the region in very tight houses ranging from 3 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50) to less than 1 ACH50. Twenty nine newer homes with whole house ventilation systems compliant with ASHRAE 62.2 2010 were monitored under varying conditions at different times of the year. Short term monitoring using tracer gas in unoccupied homes was used to determine air change rates of the homes with and without mechanical ventilation and with interior doors open and closed. Longer term monitoring of the occupied homes was conducted in varying test modes to evaluate both temporal and spatial effectiveness of the differing ventilation approaches.

 

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