This project evaluated the post-occupancy indoor air quality and occupant comfort at Albina Yard. A research team from the University of Oregon monitored Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) for over a year following the building's construction to better understand the impact that exposed wood structures have on indoor air quality and occupant comfort.
IEQ of buildings include aspects of the built environment that affect occupant health and well-being such as indoor air quality, thermal comfort, visual comfort, and acoustic comfort. The contribution of wood in creating healthy environments has been discussed in several research studies, many of which are based on occupant feedback rather than on quantitative monitoring data. Most quantitative IEQ studies are limited to measurements in a laboratory environment or in unoccupied buildings, or only monitor data related to one single IEQ performance indicator. This is one of the first studies of an occupied mass timber building that analyzed data in three areas that impact occupant experience: indoor air quality, bacterial community composition, and floor vibration. Overall, the building was found to perform well in these areas.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a large group of chemicals that are found in many building products. Once these chemicals are in our buildings, they are released into the indoor air we breathe. This research project analyzed a variety of VOCs through quantitative indoor environmental monitoring utilizing sensors deployed throughout the building, as well as a series of smartphone app-based user surveys to monitor real-time comfort as reported by individuals working in the building. Researchers compared user feedback with collected environmental data to better understand the relationship between user comfort and indoor environmental factors.