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Steven J. Nabinger

Steven J. Nabinger is a mechanical engineer in the Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Group of the Energy and Environment Division (EED) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Mr. Nabinger is currently involved in full and small-scale chamber work to develop test methods for evaluating the efficiency and performance of gaseous air cleaners and the relationship between testing contaminant air filters in a large chamber to testing in a residential home environment. This includes development of a draft test method for using and evaluating air cleaners to remove formaldehyde from air and a method for testing high efficiency air cleaners for which no test methods currently exist. Mr. Nabinger is also currently involved in work to develop an emission standard for the calibration of small chambers to reduce uncertainty in emission measurements from manufactured materials in order to promote "green homes" and "green furnishing products" used in homes and office buildings. In 2009, Mr. Nabinger received a Department of Commerce Silver Medal for his earlier work in the development of appliance test procedures which now forms the basis of the U.S. Appliance Energy Labeling Program.

Mr. Nabinger continues to work in the area of indoor air quality and ventilation in manufactured homes. His work includes the development and application of measurement techniques to evaluate airflow and air quality characteristics using procedures that include tracer gas and building pressurization techniques for measuring air change rates, air distribution effectiveness and envelope air-tightness. He is also involved in developing sampling procedures and measurement techniques for determining contaminant concentrations in indoor environments along with real-time measurements of contaminant emissions in homes. Mr. Nabinger has also been involved in investigating air quality and developing measurement techniques in several large mechanically ventilated office buildings.

For the last few years Mr. Nabinger was involved in the installation and monitoring of both gas and electric energy consumption, air cleaning filters, air transport and ventilation in a newly installed manufactured home on the NIST campus. This task included a study of air change rates in the house and the relationship between the ventilation system and system control strategies to air changes and energy consumption. This study was followed by a similar study after retrofitting the house with various sealing materials to reduce the leakage of the exterior envelop and re-measuring the relationship between ventilation control methods and related air change rates and energy consumption to address important questions concerning manufactured housing specifications and building codes. Prior to this he was involved in instrumenting a single zone test house to study the efficiency of in-duct and portable air cleaner filters for removing particulates and gaseous contaminants.

Prior to that, Mr. Nabinger was involved in the Appliance Program at NIST to support the Department of Energy in the accumulation and assessment of test data for clothes washers. This assessment was for the purpose of understanding the performance of current appliances relative to the new performance parameter, Modified Efficiency Factor (MEF), and to understand the relationship of MEF to the old performance parameter, Efficiency Factor (EF). The test data will be used by DOE to set minimum energy standards for clothes washers in terms of MEF.

Mr. Nabinger has also been involved in the development and promulgation of a "Final Rule" test procedure for measuring the energy efficiency and energy consumption of conventional kitchen cooking appliances. This work involved setting up two laboratory test facilities for testing ranges, ovens, cooking tops and microwave ovens. It also included extensive review and revision of the test procedures on the way to its approval as the Final Rule published in 1997.

Mr. Nabinger is also involved in the development and assessment of methods for estimating the level of total volatile organic compounds in indoor air, and continues to work in the area of detection, identification, and quantification of volatile organic compounds affecting the quality of indoor air. Mr. Nabinger continues to be involved in the measurement of air infiltration, ventilation, and air quality of large buildings by use of tracer gas methods.

While obtaining his Master of Science degree, Mr. Nabinger was involved in the measurement of indoor pollutant emissions including: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and particulates from EPA Phase II certified wood stoves. Prior to this, he was involved in the development of a local ventilation monitoring system for the assessment of indoor air quality. While obtaining his A.A. degree, Mr. Nabinger worked at the National Bureau of Standards in the Heat Transfer Group where he performed measurements to assist in the determination of a high temperature, low thermal conductivity standard reference material. During this period, Mr. Nabinger discovered the relationship between thermal conductivity and atmospheric pressure for these materials. He also worked in the Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Group measuring formaldehyde emissions from pressed wood products.

Steven J. Nabinger


Mechanical Engineer
Energy and Environment Division
Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Group


University of Maryland, M.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1995

University of Maryland, B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1987

Prince George's Community College, A.A., General, 1984


Phone: 301-975-6416
Email: steven.nabinger@nist.gov