Project Profile 4 – Fire Hall Air Quality

An Alberta City was concerned that the air quality in it’s Fire Hall was possibly affecting the health of the building occupants, and that the ventilation system was not up to Provincial Building Code standards. The Fire Hall was also an EMT dormitory, and had several training rooms and offices.
There had been complaints about poor air quality on multiple occasions, and some building occupants were unhappy. City representatives had tried to make some changes and looked at the ventilation system, but the complaints continued. Additionally, the City was not sure if the building was in compliance with recent changes to the Building Code regarding ventilation requirements.
We conducted an extensive study of the issue, including: 

  • Assessment of the building and ventilation system.
  • Interviews with City employees who worked in the Fire Hall.
  • Communication sessions with employees and City Representatives during and after project completion.
  • An air-monitoring program that was successful in correlating vehicle operation events with detectable levels of carbon monoxide in the dormitory and offices.
  • Gap analysis and assessment of Building Code applicability.
  • Recommended and supervised the installation of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide sensors, and verified their linkage to the operation of the fresh air intake dampers.
  • Recommended the establishment of pressure differential zones to prevent future migration of exhaust fumes into the office and dormitory areas.
  • Outlined all changes required to the ventilation system for compliance with the Building Code.

The result was no further air quality complaints. Building occupants were very happy with the outcome of the project and appreciated both their involvement in the investigation, and the open communication of all project activities. The City is now confident that the ventilation in this facility meets Building Code requirements, and has an excellent real-time exhaust fume monitoring system that is continuing to protect the health of their employees. A lingering problem was solved, and is no longer consuming City resources.