Southface Awarded Grant to Research Indoor Air Quality in Homes

Building Health

Building America, a Department of Energy program, awarded Southface a grant to investigate indoor air quality (IAQ) in new and existing homes. Working with key industry experts, Southface expects to research the anticipated link between IAQ and chronic health problems.


Southface engineers built low-cost, open-sourced sensors to test for particulate matter, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and radon, which are found in typical homes from both indoor and outdoor sources. With help from our partners, we will use the information collected from the sensors to benchmark typical levels and pilot the IAQ Score developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The IAQ Score could one day become the standardized metric by which we measure the quality of the air we breathe indoors.

In addition, Southface and partners will help equipment manufacturers develop performance-based IAQ solutions by testing new “smart” ventilation systems against IAQ metrics and whole-house energy consumption. The collected data will then be used to formulate the first Building America field test protocols for energy recovery ventilators.

This groundbreaking research has the potential to demonstrate the health benefits as well as economic benefits of energy recovery ventilators to consumers, policymakers and builders.

Our key research partners include Underwriters Laboratory, Beazer Homes, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Venmar and Kerley Family Homes.

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