Nichole’s Methodology

The BCIT Building Science department studied Hammond Forever House!

I decided, with her permission, to share Nichole Wapple’s entire report, “Evaluating Interior Environmental Conditions of a Maple Ridge Home” with you, piece by piece. What am I talking about? Check out my previous post where she introduces her project or click on the BCIT category on the right for the full story.

Here, accompanied by my own photos, is what she did:


Jan. 31, 2014
Jan. 31, 2014

This work consisted of collecting data on the indoor environmental conditions of the existing home, and proposing improvements to the house to meet current industry recommendations for ventilation and indoor environmental quality. The following research methodology was applied:


On January 31, 2014, an initial assessment of the home was completed. The purpose of this visit was to gather information on conditions which may be impacting the interior environmental quality, and to place sensors to gather data on temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 levels in several rooms across the house. Six Hobo data loggers were installed, in the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, solarium, bathroom, and upstairs children’s bedroom, respectively. A CO2 sensor was also added to the kitchen data logger.

The home was revisited on February 25, 2014 to install additional CO2 monitors, in the living room, master bedroom, and upstairs children’s bedroom. Sensor locations are indicated on the floor plans in Appendix A.

The Hobo data loggers take readings every 15 minutes, and data must be downloaded from the units directly. Hobo data was obtained on April 1, 2014, for use in this analysis. The secondary CO2 sensors record data every 30 minutes, and the data can be accessed remotely through SMT Research’s website.

Dr. Mora came out to the house a few times to collect the data. He would sit in his car and collect the data wirelessly from the CO2 sensors and then come in to collect the rest from the Hobos. I remember wondering if I should call the RCMP about the car parked suspiciously at the side of the house. I didn’t. Nichole continues:

For the purposes of this study, the data was analysed to identify potential issues with the quality of ventilation in the home which may be impacting the environmental quality. The Ecotect Analysis software by Autodesk was also used to plot the temperature and relative humidity on a psychrometric chart, to assess how the conditions fall within the standard comfort zones.

Originally, I had intended to also complete air sampling and testing to test for microbial pollutants and allergens; however, project funding was not available for this work.

I don’t know if it is normal to be as excited as I was that I had sensors all over my house. How would you feel?

I was disappointed that there was no funding to go deeper into the “microbial pollutants and allergens” of which I expect there to be some (with rot and carpenter ants, there must be, right?). However, unlike the services of Monte Paulsen, our energy advisor extraordinaire, Nichole’s work did not cost anything, so I can’t complain!

Here are the locations of the sensors as Nichole wrote:

On one of his later visits, I convinced Rodgrigo to put a sensor in the basement because it is a significantly different environment. He promised to give me the data. I know you are as excited as I am about that!

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James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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