Indoor air quality

Good indoor air quality (IAQ) enhances our health, comfort and productivity. Each member of the university community has a role in ensuring a healthy indoor air environment exists for their workplace. This includes building occupants, departments, Facilities Management and Occupational Health Safety and Environment.

Some general guidelines to follow when indoor air quality concerns arise:

  • Nuisance odour concerns (scented fragrances, cleaning supplies, office plants and flowers, etc.) should be handled within your department. Discuss concerns with your fellow worker and supervisor so that a solution can be achieved that is acceptable to all parties.
  • Concerns related to building systems such as ventilation or plumbing should be reported to  (local 7616). These include concerns about building temperature, humidity and air circulation, and odours arising from plumbing fixtures or ventilation ducts (e.g. sewer gas, noxious chemicals, exhaust fumes).
  • (local 8971) will respond to all complaints related to indoor air quality. If you have an unusual air quality problem or just require some general information, our office is available to help.

For more information, please contact Graham Rhodes: or 250-721-6525.

IAQ roles and responsibilities

Building occupants

Minimize odours in your workplace by:

  • Cleaning staff refrigerators, microwaves, cupboards and utensils regularly to prevent foods from spoiling
  • Using scented products sparingly (including perfumes, colognes, lotions and air fresheners)
  • Properly maintaining plants to prevent mold growth or decay
  • Performing odour-generating work in an appropriate facility

Ensure ventilation is adequate by:

  • Keeping all air intake and exhaust vents free of obstructions
  • Providing adequate space for air circulation around electrical equipment (including photocopiers, space heaters and computers)
  • Opening windows (when appropriate) to provide additional fresh air
  • Wearing suitable clothing for thermal comfort, based on the season and work activity
  • Reporting concerns to Facilities Management


  • Ensure facilities and equipment are appropriate for the type of work being performed and that workers have received adequate training
  • Respond to air quality concerns raised by building occupants
  • Involve the local safety committee when necessary to help resolve problems

Facilities Management

  • Provide regular maintenance to ventilation, plumbing and other building systems
  • Notify building occupants and Occupational Health, Safety and Environment when projects, renovations or routine maintenance are likely to affect the quality of indoor air
  • Respond to and investigate specific odour complaints as they relate to building systems

Occupational Health, Safety and Environment

  • Respond to indoor air quality concerns and make recommendations when needed
  • Work collaboratively with occupants, departments, Local Safety Committees and Facilities Management to help resolve indoor air quality concerns