ISTC’s Indoor Climate Research and Training group recruiting homeowner for research study

The Indoor Climate Research and Training (ICRT) group at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center is recruiting for the final house in a five house study of how contaminants migrate from attached garages into living spaces.  The house must be a stand-alone single family dwelling (no townhomes/duplexes) with a tuck under garage (have conditioned living space located above the garage) and will preferably have HVAC equipment (furnaces, water heaters, etc.) located inside the garage. Applicants are especially encouraged to apply if they ever notice garage odors inside the house.

The project will take place during the early part of the 2015/2016 winter and will last approximately two months. During this time ICRT researchers will make multiple visits to the house and implement various temporary and permanent interventions including: passive ventilation, air sealing between the house and garage, and mechanical ventilation of the garage. All of the permanent interventions will be completed by a licensed local contractor, and all work will be done at no-cost to the homeowner.

During the project a cart with research equipment will be stored in the garage and sampling tubing will be discreetly routed to various locations in the house and garage.  The equipment will monitor the areas of the house for Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) levels.  SF6 is a colorless odorless, non-toxic tracer gas that will be periodically released into the garage from the equipment cart to monitor air movement.

Please respond to Zach (zmerrin@illinois.edu) with answers to the following questions if you think your house qualifies and are interested in participating in this study.

  1. Are you the homeowner (If rented, homeowner consent will be required)?
  2. Do you use your garage for parking frequently-driven vehicles?
  3. Do you have any HVAC equipment in your garage (furnace, water heater, etc.)?
  4. Is the house built on a crawlspace, slab, or basement?
  5. Do you have crawlspace and/or attic access from inside the garage?
  6. Is somebody typically home during business hours (M-F 9-5)?

About Laura B.

Laura L. Barnes is ISTC's Sustainability Information Curator and Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLPPR). She also created and authors Environmental News Bits (http://envnewsbits.info).
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