Indoor Air Quality: Ventilation In Schools

Investigating Indoor Air Quality

How often do you hear people talking about pollution, air quality and the cleanliness of outdoor air? The fact of the matter is that most of us spend up to 90% of our time indoors and remain unaware of the quality of the air that we breathe in when indoors, be it at home, school, at our workplace or other indoor areas. Studies show that indoor air can be as much as 50x more polluted than the air outside. The department of Education is currently updating Building bulletin 101 (Guidelines for Ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality in schools). This is an important aspect in health and safety in schools as it can have an adverse effect on pupils and staff.

Children spend a significant amount of time, almost one fifth of their week indoors. School being the main habitat Monday to Friday. What impacts the Indoor Air Quality within buildings such as these? We can look at the pollutants that are naturally emitted from everyday items, namely carpets, curtains, furniture’s and even cleaning products. At high levels, these pollutants can cause health problems including asthma and eczema. Coupled with Industrial pollution from outdoor air from a window or open door or even ventilation systems if these are incorrectly maintained this can lead to inadequate levels of clean indoor air. Indoor air quality in schools can impact attendance, comfort, performance, school equipment and most importantly health. Poor air quality can cause headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, sinus congestion and irritation of the eyes nose and throat. These health impacts can affect the productivity of teachers and students, resulting in them not having the best out of education.

Effective Ventilation

Effective ventilation is extremely important in providing good indoor air quality especially to ensure effective ventilation in schools. Many studies have proven that well ventilated clean air can lead to better student performance by maintaining student alertness and maintaining health. Whether sufficient Natural ventilation or Mechanical ventilation, the level of Carbon Dioxide should be monitored to not exceed the recommended level of 5000 parts per million (ppm) in a teaching day. The level can be reduced throughout the day by introducing fresh air to the room. Does this sound like a challenge? With many reputable engineers now installing and commissioning modern energy efficient systems, there's now no excuse to have bad indoor air quality, whether it be at home, work or school. Axair Fans provides energy efficient industrial fan models for using within manufactured products such as air conditioners and fan coil units. For example our GDS V8 double inlet centrifugal fan provides low noise, low energy consumption and its compact design makes it ideal for heat recovery units situated in school ceiling voids. Our technical team can advise on the number of air changes required for specific buildings as determined by their use and specify the correct fan for the project. Contact us on 01782 349 430 or email us at [email protected] for more information.