The Case for Smoke-Free                    Multi-Unit HousingMartha J. Hewett, Director of Research mhewett@mncee.org   Ma...
Research funded by     Early 2000s (most work discussed today)          6 buildings          Tested multiple apartments...
Overview     How much air is transferred between apartments?          How big are the leaks?          Where are the lea...
How much air is transferred   between apartments?
Test buildings                            Duplex                            1930s           8-Plex    1970                ...
Test buildings                           4 story                           2001                                  138 unit ...
Measurement method     Passive perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) gas system –      Brookhaven National Laboratory     “Tag” a...
Results: Air from adjoining apartments    as a percent of total inflow (winter)                               Range       ...
How big are the leaksbetween apartments?
Measurement method: guarded zone    blower door tests     Pressurize apartment “A” by a known          amount     Measur...
Results: Total effective leakage area    (ELA) and leakage area between units                              Total          ...
Where are the leaks?
Gaps in walls, floors, ceilings,    mechanical chases     Some accessible     Some inaccessible or too diffuse to sealPa...
Most openings are small…         Smoke pencil                 Gaps around                 sink plumbing                 or...
Light fixtures:  Leaky (2.5 sq. in.)  Tight (0.1 sq. in.)
Many leaks arediffuse…                 Gap along baseboard                         under carpetBaseboards
Gaps behindbaseboard heaters
Some leaks are big!                       Plumbing access panel                        (pegboard) removed                 ...
Hidden mechanical chases in high-rise bldgs    = potential for large uncontrolled air flowsPage 19
Concrete penetrations much bigger thanpipes = lots of room for air flow
Hidden openings are hard to access & seal
What drives air through   these openings?
Winter stack effect     Air flows in at the bottom          and out at the top           Air inside is lighter          ...
Winter stack effect is the reason for    these differences by floor                               Range      Median       ...
Wind effect     Air goes in on the windward side, out on the leeward side     Again, the taller the building, the bigger...
Mechanical system effects     Typical bathroom ventilation is an      exhaust fan        Exhausts air from bathroom     ...
What happens when you run an exhaust duct    from the lower to upper level?           In at the bottom and       X       ...
How much can transfer be  reduced by air-sealing     and ventilation?
Treatments in 6 test buildings     Sealed leaks to extent practical: 3 to 12 labor-      hours/apartment     Installed e...
Direct effects of treatments     Decreased fraction of air coming from other apartments      for two-thirds of the apartm...
Net impact of treatments     Reduced contaminant concentrations in nonsmokers’          apartments by a median of 29% for...
How good is the human nose?    Junker et al. 2001: laboratory tests with non-smokers     Threshold of odor acceptability ...
How can you measure    SHS transfer?
No easy answers     No current method is low cost, is widely available, and          reliably distinguishes between SHS a...
For further information    on CEE research
http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/          Projects/Current/Environmental-Tobacco-Smoke/Page 36
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The Case for Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing - Hewett

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The Case for Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing - Hewett

  1. 1. The Case for Smoke-Free Multi-Unit HousingMartha J. Hewett, Director of Research mhewett@mncee.org May 30, 2012
  2. 2. Research funded by  Early 2000s (most work discussed today)  6 buildings  Tested multiple apartments clustered around a smoker in each building  Measured air transfer and nicotine transfer between units  Measured reductions in transfer through air-sealing & ventilation  In progress  Probability samples of apartments in smoking-permitted and SF buildings  Concentrations of SHS particulate and gaseous constituents  Results late 2012 Findings are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of ClearWay MinnesotaPage 2
  3. 3. Overview  How much air is transferred between apartments?  How big are the leaks?  Where are the leaks?  What drives air through these openings?  How much can air transfer be reduced by air sealing and ventilation?  How can you measure SHS transfer?  For further informationPage 3
  4. 4. How much air is transferred between apartments?
  5. 5. Test buildings Duplex 1930s 8-Plex 1970 12-Plex 1964Page 5
  6. 6. Test buildings 4 story 2001 138 unit 1999 1982 11 storyPage 6
  7. 7. Measurement method  Passive perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) gas system – Brookhaven National Laboratory  “Tag” air in each apartment with a unique PFT  Sample and analyze air in each apartment  Compute flows Sampler EmitterPage 7
  8. 8. Results: Air from adjoining apartments as a percent of total inflow (winter) Range Median Top-floor units: 2 to 65% 16% Mid-floor units: 1 to 20% 5% Lowest-floor units 1 to 4% 2% Overall average = 5%Page 8
  9. 9. How big are the leaksbetween apartments?
  10. 10. Measurement method: guarded zone blower door tests  Pressurize apartment “A” by a known amount  Measure “blower door” fan flow  Compute “effective leakage area” (ELA) that allows that much flow at that pressure difference  Pressurize all but one neighboring apartment (“B”) to the same pressure to determine the leakage area between Blower door apartments A and B.Page 10
  11. 11. Results: Total effective leakage area (ELA) and leakage area between units Total To adjacent units ELA (sq. in.) ELA (sq. in.) (% of total) Range 25 to 130 5 to 26 16% to 59% Average 47 9 27% Can SHS move through 9 square inches of leaks? Oh, yeah!Page 11
  12. 12. Where are the leaks?
  13. 13. Gaps in walls, floors, ceilings, mechanical chases  Some accessible  Some inaccessible or too diffuse to sealPage 13
  14. 14. Most openings are small… Smoke pencil Gaps around sink plumbing or sprinkler headPage 14
  15. 15. Light fixtures: Leaky (2.5 sq. in.) Tight (0.1 sq. in.)
  16. 16. Many leaks arediffuse… Gap along baseboard under carpetBaseboards
  17. 17. Gaps behindbaseboard heaters
  18. 18. Some leaks are big! Plumbing access panel (pegboard) removed Neighbor’s “Why do Wall open bathtub our between tubs clothes smell like smoke?” Pegboard is not a good air This unit’s barrier! bathtubPage 18
  19. 19. Hidden mechanical chases in high-rise bldgs = potential for large uncontrolled air flowsPage 19
  20. 20. Concrete penetrations much bigger thanpipes = lots of room for air flow
  21. 21. Hidden openings are hard to access & seal
  22. 22. What drives air through these openings?
  23. 23. Winter stack effect  Air flows in at the bottom and out at the top  Air inside is lighter (warmer) than air outside, so it rises through the building  Same principle as a chimney (“stack”)  The taller the building, the bigger the effectPage 23
  24. 24. Winter stack effect is the reason for these differences by floor Range Median Top-floor units: 2 to 65% 16% Mid-floor units: 1 to 20% 5% Lowest-floor units 1 to 4% 2%Page 24
  25. 25. Wind effect  Air goes in on the windward side, out on the leeward side  Again, the taller the building, the bigger the effect  Wind moves faster further from the ground plan viewPage 25
  26. 26. Mechanical system effects  Typical bathroom ventilation is an exhaust fan  Exhausts air from bathroom (obviously)  Draws air into the apartment from somewhere else to replace it (not so obviously)  Intermittent exhaust -- or continuous but improperly balanced exhaust -- elevation view can cause air to move from one apartment to anotherPage 26
  27. 27. What happens when you run an exhaust duct from the lower to upper level?  In at the bottom and X out at the top  When the roof fan is off, air still tends to flow in to the exhaust registers in lower floor apartments, but flow out of the exhaust registers in upper floor apartmentsPage 27
  28. 28. How much can transfer be reduced by air-sealing and ventilation?
  29. 29. Treatments in 6 test buildings  Sealed leaks to extent practical: 3 to 12 labor- hours/apartment  Installed effective (and quiet) exhaust fans  Converted intermittent exhaust to continuous operation  Balanced exhaust air flows, to minimize mechanical driving forces between apartmentsPage 29
  30. 30. Direct effects of treatments  Decreased fraction of air coming from other apartments for two-thirds of the apartments  Increased fraction of air coming from other apartments for some lower level apartments  Caused by balancing of exhaust flows  Increased average ventilation rate by 60%  Substantially reduced variation in ventilation between unitsPage 30
  31. 31. Net impact of treatments  Reduced contaminant concentrations in nonsmokers’ apartments by a median of 29% for a given source strength  Only a modest reduction at a fairly high cost  Over 80% of residents with pre-existing SHS problem said it was less frequent & less severe after treatments  But not gone  There is no safe amount of SHS (US Surgeon General)Page 31
  32. 32. How good is the human nose? Junker et al. 2001: laboratory tests with non-smokers  Threshold of odor acceptability for respirable SHS particles (SHS RSP): 1 g/m3  Threshold of eye, nose and throat irritation: 4.4 g/m3  One cigarette produces 6,000 to 14,000 g of RSP.  Dispersed uniformly, one cigarette would require:  3,000 cubic meters (106,000 cubic feet) to be below the irritation threshold,  19,000 cubic meters (671,000 cubic feet) to be below odor acceptability threshold Junker MH, B Danuser, C Monn, and T Koller, 2001. Acute sensory response of nonsmokers at very low environmental tobacco smoke concentrations in controlled laboratory settings. Environmental Health Perspectives, 109: 1045-1052.Page 32
  33. 33. How can you measure SHS transfer?
  34. 34. No easy answers  No current method is low cost, is widely available, and reliably distinguishes between SHS and other sources  PM2.5 (e.g., Sidepak) has many other sources  Nicotine has no other source in indoor environments, but sorbs onto surfaces in the smoker’s unit and so only transfers at about one-sixth the rate of bulk air transfer so will underestimate exposure and may lead to many “false negatives.”  An active area of research  UVPM is moderately to highly selective but expensive  Pyridine, 3-EP highly selective but expensivePage 34
  35. 35. For further information on CEE research
  36. 36. http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ Projects/Current/Environmental-Tobacco-Smoke/Page 36

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