Indoor Air Quality in Historic Buildings

10:00AM - 4:00PM
Jacqueline Stephens

Assistant Professor
Kennesaw State University

Farah Abaza

Kennesaw State University

With the rise in concern for the environment and the preservation of our natural resources buildings are being required to become more sustainable and energy efficient. The focus has been on new construction and existing construction but recently there has been an interest in making historical structures sustainable too. This paper investigated the effect of introducing mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to the indoor air quality of historical buildings in Fulton County, Georgia, United States. The study was based on field measurements of indoor air quality of six historical buildings in Georgia that are over 100 years old. Three of these buildings went through major weatherization that included reducing the building infiltration, adding HVAC system, adding insulation. The three other buildings were not improved. The field study included measurements of the airborne particle counts for the sizes .3 ?m, .5 ?m, 1 ?m, 2 ?m, and 5?m. A measurement of CO2 concentration, the relative humidity, and air temperature were also taken. Airosel airborne particle samples were taken and analyzed under the microscope. The field test showed significant increase in airborne particles in the buildings that went through major renovation in which the new HVAC system was installed in an unfinished basement (crawl space). However, buildings which did not have HVAC system in the foundation space and are located in dense populated area had a better indoor air quality (IAQ) than the outside air and also better IAQ than similar buildings which did not received weatherization measures. This testing was done to unable facility managers of historical structures to improve their indoor air quality through HVAC systems and insulation.