Studying the Optimal Ventilation for Environmental Indoor Air Quality (STOVE IAQ)

Project Funders: Enterprise Community Partners with generous support from the JPB Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Project Partners: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of California San Francisco, and the University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Contact: Jonathan Wilson, jwilson@nchh.org, 443.539.4162

Project Description: Studying the Optimal Ventilation for Environmental Indoor Air Quality (STOVE IAQ) will gather evidence of the health and environmental benefits that green affordable housing meeting ventilation criteria brings to families and communities, in order to transform the practices of affordable housing developers on a large scale, while influencing policy makers and capital providers to support, require, or incentivize the development and rehabilitation of green affordable housing, including compliance with the ASHRAE 62.2 standard in homes containing working gas stoves. The study will build on the important evidence gathered to date and will definitively quantify the systemic value of ASHRAE-compliant ventilation in green housing. The evidence gathered through STOVE IAQ will help to influence change across the affordable housing industry in three ways: (1) by convincing housing developers and owners to change their practices for the sake of the people they serve; (2) by influencing policy makers to change regulations and building and housing codes to make healthy building practices a universal requirement; and (3) by convincing governments and capital providers that up-front investments in green and healthy housing will result in significant financial and societal benefits.

In this study, we will conduct indoor air quality (IAQ) sampling for several measures in affordable multifamily properties after substantial rehabilitations that comply with the Enterprise Green Communities criteria. Approximately half of enrolled dwellings will have ASHRAE-compliant ventilation and the other half will not, but all will be sampled. IAQ measures include particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), all of which come from combustion equipment such as furnaces and stoves; formaldehyde, which off-gasses from building products and furnishings; and nicotine from tobacco smoke, e-cigarettes, or vaporizers (“vapes”). The study will also collect data on self-reported resident health parameters, particularly respiratory-related health effects. We will compare health and IAQ outcomes between these two groups, determining whether Green Communities-rehabbed homes with ASHRAE-compliant ventilation result in lower levels of the above measures than Green Communities-rehabbed homes without such ventilation.

The primary beneficiaries of this study will be the low- and moderate-income residents living in affordable housing developments. A secondary population will be the developers, owners, and managers of these properties who will benefit from the lessons learned from this study. Finally, the results of this study will be used to inform and educate investors and government partners at the city, state, and federal levels about the importance of green and healthy affordable housing.

Resources

This is a new study. We’ll post resources here as they become available.

Related

Healthy Homes, Happy Kids Research Study [url; Enterprise]