Indoor Air Quality

The air quality of classrooms, laboratories and other campus buildings is assessed by the Environmental & Occupational Health (EOH) program. As a part of the EOH program, they evaluate mold; conduct air monitoring to evaluate chemical exposure health risks; and evaluate engineering controls for proper ventilation design and performance.

Evaluation & Complaints

Evaluation of building-related air quality complaints requires the cooperation of Facilities Planning & Management staff and Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH). Following the initial complaint,

  • EOH will interview the occupants to determine if the symptoms are potentially related to air quality.
  • When such a potential exists, EOH will conduct an IAQ investigation with appropriate FP&M staff.
  • Complaints received by FP&M involving specific symptoms, should be forwarded directly to EOH for collaboration once all building systems have been determined to be functioning as designed.
  • Other Environment Health and Safety (EH&S) staff, custodial and maintenance staff, and building managers who identify IAQ problems or risks should contact EOH for consultation.

Outdoor Air Quality

In order to ensure proper outdoor air quality standards, multiple Air Pollution Control Operation Permits have been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for the UW–Madison campus.

Both the Charter Street and Walnut Street Heating and Cooling Plants have been assigned individual permits, specific to the processes utilized, to maintain acceptable air quality as a result of their operations.  In addition, the other activities across campus that could impact air quality are collectively grouped under a campus-wide pollution control permit.

EH&S actively manages the operations included in the campus-wide air pollution control operation permit. Measures taken as a result include:

  • Overseeing equipment operations and maintenance to ensure appropriate procedures are followed and established pollution limitations are not exceeded.
  • Facilitating emissions testing on equipment when needed.
  • Guaranteeing the proper training of our operators.
  • Completing periodic reporting to WDNR of the actions taken that demonstrate air quality standards are being met.
  • Making sure that all of the contributing activities on campus have been considered for air pollution control.

The air permits for the heating and cooling plants are not managed by EH&S but directly by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA). Related inquiries therefor should be directed to the DOA-DFD Architecture & Engineering Bureau, Engineering & Technical Support Section.

Additional Air Quality Information