Armour College of Engineering Grant Award Strengthens Research on Health in the Built Environment

Brent Stephens_news.jpgThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a grant totaling $699,611 over three years to Brent Stephens, associate professor of architectural engineering. The funded project, “Cost-effective Approaches to Upgrading Residential Mechanical Ventilation Systems to Control Indoor Pollutants of Both Indoor and Outdoor Origin and Improve Asthma-Related Health Outcomes,” aims to expand knowledge on the effectiveness of mechanical ventilation systems in reducing indoor air pollutants, maintaining environmental conditions and ventilation rates, and improving asthma health outcomes. Elevate Energy is a partner on the project and the company‚Äôs CEO, Anne Evans, is a co-PI on the project.

The funding was part of $3.3 million in grants that HUD has awarded to five institutions to support research to develop and improve methods for the identification and control of key residential health hazards and to improve the implementation of policies that address the hazards.

The research team will recruit 45 low-income households in Chicago with at least one asthmatic resident to participate in the three-year study. Four weeklong periods of data collection will take place for approximately one year before installation, followed by four weeklong periods approximately one year after the installation. The team will administer standardized asthma outcome questionnaires to residents every two months throughout the duration of the study, for a total of twelve months of asthma outcome data collected over the course of two years.