Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Emilio Braganza, Director of Center for Indoor Environments U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Content Advisor

Advisor 2

Helen R. Neil, Chair and Assoc. Professor, Environmental Studies

Advisor 3

Krystyna Stave, Assoc. Professor, Environmental Studies

Number of Pages



The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) performed indoor air quality studies in five U.S. schools during energy retrofits during 1997-98. Four EPA reports and three Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. (EH&E) reports illustrated the indoor environmental quality before and after heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) retrofits at specific elementary schools in Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey, and California. Selected comfort, environmental, physical, and occupant response data were collected in randomly selected areas over a one–week, five–school day monitoring period for each of these schools.

The EPA studied indoor air quality (IAQ) and occupant comfort using an EPA Indoor Environmental Quality Survey. The questionnaire asked the building occupants at the schools about how they thought their building environment and work affected them. Within in the school building studies, the EPA measured sound, indoor temperature, relative humidity, continuous light, airborne particle concentrations, individual volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), formaldehyde, particulates, bacteria and fungi, radon, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Selected comfort, environmental, and physical data were collected in selected areas over a three contiguous school day monitoring period. A baseline and follow-up study was conducted for each school. Survey information possibly suggests that occupant comfort improved after HVAC retrofits, albeit the findings are inconclusive.

The focus of the paper was to determine if occupant comfort improved, decreased, or remained neutral after energy retrofits in the five U. S. schools. Selected measurement data and applicable questionnaire data was summarized for each school and then compared between the pre-study and the post study years.


Climate control; Elementary schools; Energy efficient; Energy retrofits; Heating; ventilation; and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; Indoor air quality; Occupant comfort; United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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