Reporting Building Air Quality Concerns

Maintenance problems

Report to Plant Operations 24 hour Service Number ext. 33793.

Maintenance problems include:

  1. Broken thermostats
  2. Misadjusted diffusers
  3. Heating, cooling or ventilation breakdown malfunctioning during the operating hours of the building
  4. Leaking fan coils
  5. Odours due to maintenance and construction (roofing projects) in or around a building
  6. Chemical type smells; such as; drain/sewer gas, natural gas and vehicle exhaust

If problems continue after being addressed by Plant Operations inform your supervisor/administrator of the situation.

Air quality standards

Plant Operations designs and maintains building ventilation systems according to Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and associated applicable standards to Ontario thereby ensuring appropriate air quality is provided.

The following criteria are used to determine air quality. Other specific agents are not included in determining building air quality. Potential exposures to specific agents are addressed through other programs as occupational hazards and/or hazardous materials spills.

Criteria UW Guidelines OHSA Regulations

Carbon dioxide

Up to 700 ppm above outdoor levels (up to about 1,000 ppm)

Maximum 5,000 ppm


25 to 60%
No regulation


19.5 to 25.5 deg C
Minimum 18 degree C

Air flow/movement

Winter: <0.15 m/s
Summer: <0.25 m/s
No regulation

Ongoing Air Quality Concerns

When building indoor air quality concerns are:

  • Chronic in nature (ongoing for more than three weeks)
  • Unknown origin
  • If concern persists after being addressed by Plant Operations as a maintenance problem

Review concerns with your supervisor/administrator who shall review concerns with department head to determine whether a department assessment should be conducted.

Department indoor air quality assessment

Department head determines department personnel to conduct assessment as follows:

  1. Review department records for previous concerns/complaints and records of ventilation design, testing and maintenance.
  2. Meet with department personnel in the area of the concern.
  3. Have department personnel complete an Indoor air quality report (PDF) where additional information is required.
  4. Report findings to department head.

Department indoor air quality resolution

If the findings of the department assessment support the concerns then the department head should address concerns through Plant Operations as follows:

  1. Issue Plant Operations a works request to address the concerns.
  2. Plant Operations will review concerns with the department and determine whether an air quality consultant (approved by Plant Operations) will be contracted to conduct a review.
  3. When an air quality consultant is contracted, Plant Operations will arrange pre consultation meeting with the Safety Office, Plant Operations and consultant.
  4. If indoor air quality testing is required, the Safety Office will notify the Joint Health and Safety Committee of the workplace of any scheduled testing.
  5. Results from the review, air quality testing and resolution shall be reported by the department to the department personnel in the area of concern and to the Safety Office.
  6. Safety Office will report results to the Joint Health and Safety Committee of the workplace.