Skip to Main Content

Business Services

Campus Safety Manual



University of Houston-Victoria
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Management Plan Procedure

1.      Introduction

1.1        Concerns with Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) have increased since energy conservation measures were instituted in office buildings during the 1970s, minimizing the infiltration of outside air and contributing to the buildup of contaminants in the indoor air. Concerns about IAQ range from simple concerns about comfort issues (too hot/cold/drafty, etc.) and odd smells, to more complex problems, where the air quality may be suspected of causing illness and lost work time. Often, it is not easy to identify a single reason for IAQ concerns because of the number and variety of possible sources, causes, and varying individual sensitivities.

1.2        The University of Houston-Victoria will make every reasonable effort in providing its students, employees, and visitors an indoor environment free of harmful levels of contaminants and airborne disease agents.

2.      IAQ Program Manager

2.1    The IAQ Program Manager at the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) is the Director of Facilities Services.

2.2    The IAQ Program Manager is responsible for managing the Indoor Air Quality Management Program at UHV. The IAQ Program Manager responsibilities include:

a.      Training employees in the recognition, prevention, and resolution of IAQ issues and problems.

b.      Developing a procedure for communicating with building occupants concerning IAQ issues or problems.

                                       i.      All communications shall be in writing

                                     ii.      Building maintenance activities (i.e. HVAC equipment cleaning, pesticide use, painting, dust producing activities, etc.) shall be posted at least five days prior to the planned activity.

c.      Developing a procedure for documenting and responding to IAQ concerns and problems.

d.      Developing a procedure for investigating and resolving IAQ concerns and problems.

e.      Maintaining IAQ records in accordance with UH record retention requirements.  IAQ records include:  IAQ concerns and resolutions; and documentation of any maintenance, repair, or remodeling activity that could adversely impact indoor air quality.

f.        Coordinating an annual documented inspection of agency buildings and premises with the Safety & Risk Manager and Facilities Services representatives.


3.      Conducting periodic walkthroughs to assess the current IAQ situation

3.1    The IAQ Program Manager or designee conducts periodic walkthrough inspections which involves both occupied areas and mechanical rooms. During the walkthrough, IAQ problem indicators are checked and noted for follow-up, including:

a.      Odors

b.      Dirty or unsanitary conditions

c.      Visible fungal growth or moldy odors

d.      Evident moisture in inappropriate locations (e.g., moisture on walls, floors, or carpets)

e.      Staining or discoloration of building material(s)

f.        Smoke damage

g.      Presence of hazardous substances

h.      Unusual odors from equipment

i.         Poorly-maintained filters

j.         Uneven temperatures

k.       Personal air cleaners (e.g., ozone generators, portable filtration units) or fans

l.         Inadequate ventilation

m.    Inadequate exhaust air flow

n.      Blocked vents

o.      Other conditions that could impact IAQ, especially risk-related factors that need regular inspection to prevent IAQ problems from occurring (e.g., drain pans that do not fully drain).

3.2    The condition and operations of the HVAC system are inspected, including:

a.      Components that need to be repaired, adjusted, cleaned, or replaced have been, and work orders prepared.

b.      Actual control settings and operating schedules for each air handling unit have been recorded and filed, and checked against the design intent.

c.      Areas with significant sources of contaminants (e.g., copy rooms, food service areas, printing/photographic areas) are provided with adequate exhaust. Other sources are moved as close to exhaust points as possible.


4.      Existing and Potential IAQ Problems

4.1    The IAQ Program Manager conducts an ongoing assessment of agency buildings for existing problems. Identified IAQ problems are corrected and steps are taken to control them, including both source-related IAQ problems and ventilation-related IAQ problems.


5.      Training

5.1    University employees and contract personnel whose functions could impact IAQ (e.g., custodial staff, maintenance staff, and contractors) have been identified and trained.

5.2    The University provides IAQ training and information to UHV personnel and contractors - especially regarding use of hazardous chemicals.


6.      Plan for Facility Operations and Maintenance

6.1    Building Maintenance Program

a.   A UHV building maintenance program has been written and includes the following:

                                             i.      Spill response procedures (see Appendix A - pending)

                                           ii.      Leak response procedures  (see Appendix B - pending)

                                          iii.      Water response procedures (see Appendix C - pending)

                                         iv.      Remediation procedures  (see Appendix D - pending)

6.2    HVAC Operations

a.      UHV operating schedules for HVAC equipment has been written and are updated as needed.  (see Appendix E - pending)

6.3    Preventive Maintenance

a.   A UHV preventive maintenance program has been written and is followed on a regular schedule; this schedule is updated as needed. (see Appendix F - pending)

b.      The preventive maintenance program or contracted service includes the following maintenance items:

                                             i.      Outside air intakes are inspected for nearby sources of contaminants

                                           ii.      Air distribution dampers are maintained clear of obstructions and operating properly

                                          iii.      Air filters have the pressure drops monitored, and replacement or cleaning is performed regularly

                                         iv.      Drain pans are inspected and cleaned to ensure proper drainage

                                           v.      Heating and cooling coils are inspected and cleaned

                                         vi.      Interior of air handling units are inspected and cleaned, as warranted

                                        vii.      Fan motor and belts are inspected and replaced as warranted

                                      viii.      Air humidification and controls are inspected and regularly cleaned

                                         ix.      Cooling towers are inspected, cleaned, and water treated according to schedule

                                           x.      Air distribution pathways and VAV boxes are inspected and cleaned as needed.

c.   The preventive maintenance program and operations manuals are updated when equipment is added, modified, removed, or replaced.

6.4    Unscheduled Maintenance

a.   Procedures for unscheduled maintenance events (e.g., equipment failure) have been written and communicated to building staff. They include:

                                             i.      Agency personnel immediately contact the IAQ Program Manager that a maintenance event has occurred.

                                           ii.      The IAQ Program Manager ensures that notification to occupants is provided in a timely manner, addressing how IAQ is being protected.

                                          iii.      Any necessary remedial action is then taken.

                                         iv.      The IAQ Program Manager then informs occupants that corrective actions have been completed.

6.5    Custodial

a.      All custodial equipment and products used in the building are communicated to the IAQ Program Manager.  Additionally, custodial maintains an inventory of all chemicals used, and keeps the IAQ Program Manager and the Safety & Risk Manager updated on the inventory.

b.      The products used at UHV that may produce strong odors, are potential irritants, or may have other IAQ impacts have been determined, and, where possible, have been replaced by products without such impacts.

c.      The Facilities Services Custodial Supervisor has written procedures that detail proper use, storage, and purchase of cleaning materials; these are updated as needed.

d.      The custodial staff or contractors are educated about the IAQ implications, appropriate use, and application of the following to improve IAQ:

                                             i.      Proper cleaning methods

                                           ii.      Cleaning schedules

                                          iii.      Proper materials storage and use

                                         iv.      Proper trash disposal


7.      Management of Processes with Potentially Significant Pollutant Sources

7.1    Purchasing Practices

a.      When new products are purchased, information on potential indoor air contaminant emissions is requested from product suppliers. [Note: Emission information may not be readily available for many products; however information that is available is collected.] When the services of architects, engineers, contractors, or other professionals are used, IAQ concerns, such as special exhaust needs, are discussed.

7.2    Remodeling and Renovation

a.      Procedures to minimize the generation and migration of contaminants or odors to occupied areas of the building are used and required of contractors.

b.      The procedures used at UHV are:

                                             i.      The IAQ Program Manager and Safety & Risk Manager review designs  and construction activities for all proposed remodeling and renovation activities prior to their initiation

                                           ii.      Work is scheduled during periods of minimum occupancy

                                          iii.      Ventilation is provided in order to isolate work areas

                                         iv.      Lower-emitting work processes are used (e.g., wet-sanding dry wall)

                                           v.      Specialized cleaning procedures are used (e.g., use of HEPA vacuums)

                                         vi.      Filters are changed more frequently, especially after work is completed

                                        vii.      Emissions from new furnishings are minimized (e.g., buying lower-emitting airing out furnishings before installation, increased amount and duration of after installation)

                                      viii.      Ventilation and distribution equipment are protected from contamination during construction.

7.3    Painting

a.      Exposure to paint vapors is minimized by using low-emitting products,   scheduling work during periods of minimum occupancy, and increasing ventilation.

7.4    Pest Control

a.      Integrated Pest Management procedures are used to the extent possible:

                                             i.      The pest control products being used in the building are communicated to the IAQ Program Manager.

                                           ii.      Written procedures and contract language ensure that all people who use pest control products read and follow all label directions for proper use, mixing, storage and disposal.

                                          iii.      Non-chemical pest control strategies are used where possible.

                                         iv.      The safest available pest control products that meet the building’s needs are used or reviewed with pest control contractor.

7.5    Shipping or Receiving Activities

a.      Vehicle exhaust has been prevented from entering the building (including through air intakes and building openings) by installing barriers to airflow from loading dock areas (e.g., doors, curtains, etc.) and using pressurization to prevent mixing of vehicle exhaust with building air.

b.      In buildings where these barriers have yet to be installed, UHV has a plan for implementation.

7.6    Smoking

a.      Smoking is prohibited within twelve (12) feet of any entrance of any University owned, leased or controlled facility subject to the University of Houston-Victoria Administrative Policies and Procedures, Index A: General Index: A-15 Smoking Policy.


8.      Maintaining Cooperative Relations with Occupants

a.      The IAQ Program Manager keeps occupants routinely informed about building conditions and policies that may impact IAQ (e.g., practices that attract insects or smoking policy clarifications). Additionally, occupants are notified about planned major renovation, remodeling, maintenance or pest control activities.


9.      Procedures for Responding to IAQ Concerns

9.1    Formal procedures for responding to IAQ concerns (Response Plan Procedures) include:

a.      IAQ problems are logged into the existing work-order system, either by complainant of facility personnel.

b.Additional information is collected from complainants.

c.      Information and records obtained from complainants are kept confidential.

d.The capability of in-house staff to respond to concerns is assessed.

e.Appropriate outside sources of assistance are identified if necessary.

f.        Feedback is provided in a timely manner to the complainant.

g.Remedial actions are taken.

h.      Remedial actions are followed-up to determine if the action has been effective.

9.2    Building staff are kept informed of these procedures.

9.3    Building occupants have been informed of these procedures and are periodically reminded of how to locate responsible staff and how to submit a concern.

Safety Manual: Table of Contents