Indoor Air Quality Assessment of the San Francisco Federal Building

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An assessment of the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the San Francisco Federal Building(SFFB) was conducted on May 12 and 14, 2009 at the request of the General Services Administration (GSA). The purpose of the assessment was for a general screening of IAQ parameters typically indicative of well functioning building systems. One naturally ventilated space and one mechanically ventilated space were studied. In both zones, the levels of indoor air contaminants, including CO2, CO, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and aldehydes, were low, relative to reference exposure levels and air quality standards for comparable office buildings. We found slightly elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including two compounds often found in "green" cleaning products. In addition, we found two industrial solvents at levels higher than typically seen in office buildings, but the levels were not sufficient to be of a health concern. The ventilation rates in the two study spaces were high by any standard. Ventilation rates in the building should be further investigated and adjusted to be in line with the building design. Based on our measurements, we conclude that the IAQ is satisfactory in the zone we tested, but IAQ may need to be re-checked after the ventilation rates have been lowered.

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