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Indoor Environment and Air Quality Research Group

Michael S. Waring | Director


The Indoor Environment Research Group collaborates with two larger faculty efforts at Drexel. Each effort has separate physical laboratory and computing space as described below:

Drexel Air Resources Research Laboratory (DARRL)

The DARRL facility is a collaborative effort between Drs. Waring and DeCarlo. It contains state-of-the-art aerosol instrumentation, including a Soot Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (Aerodyne Research Inc.), a mini-Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (Aerodyne Research Inc.), a Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (TSI Inc.), a Scanning Electrical Mobility Sizer (Brechtel Manufacturing), a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (TSI Inc.), a Centrifugal Particle Mass Analyzer (Cambustion Ltd.), two Gas Chromatograph Flame Ionization Detectors (GC-FID), two TSI Dusttraks, one TSI PTrak, two TSI Aerotraks, ozone and NOx monitors, and other instrumentation both for research and student class projects.

Many of these instruments are used for the detailed characterization of the properties of particles less than 1 micrometer in diameter including: chemical composition, size, density, and shape or morphology.

In addition to the analytical instrumentation in DARRL, the laboratory houses experimental reaction chambers. These chambers are used for controlled experiments meant to simulate chemical reactions that occur in the indoor and outdoor environments. The reaction chambers vary in size from 15 L to 1 m3 and allow for a range of experimental conditions to be conducted in the laboratory.

Building Science and Engineering Group (BSEG)

The BSEG collaborative research effort is run by Drs. Waring, Wen, Gurian, and Lo. It was founded with the objective of achieving more comprehensive and innovative approaches to sustainable building design and operation through the promotion of greater collaboration between diverse sets of research expertise. BSEG is currently working on projects in a wide range of research areas, including: energy efficient strategies for delivering optimal indoor air quality, indoor air chemistry, building air flow modeling, computation fluid dynamics (CFD), smart grid, HVAC fault detection and diagnosis, Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) decision-making, and the adaptive behavior of building occupants.

Much of the BSEG work is simulation or model based, except for Dr. Waring’s indoor chemistry and aerosol work and Dr. Lo’s chamber CFD studies. Dr. Waring has also instrumented a Drexel campus building, Stratton Hall, with the ability to measure HVAC energy usage and real-time pollution in various building air streams.