By Kira Jopp on Tue 11 January 2022
Six Reasons Why Ventilation in Classrooms is Essential
Ventilating your classroom is just as important as ventilation in your home, if not more! With up to 30 pupils in one room, you can only begin to imagine how polluted the air quality is. The importance of effective ventilation is paramount in the pandemic. It will not just improve the quality of air, but will also increase concentration and productivity levels of the students. This is crucial for protecting the health and wellbeing of the pupils and teachers with the presence of Covid-19.
1. Air Quality
Effective ventilation ensures there is constant air changes within the parameters of the classroom. There is a constant stream of fresh air circulated and polluted stale air is extracted from the room. It is known fact that poor indoor air quality is linked to many health conditions. The build-up of pollutants and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) contribute to highly polluted air that is inhaled by students and teachers. Cleaning products, sprays and glue are just some of the contributors to the poor atmosphere trapped in classrooms. Installing a ventilation system can help reduce the pollutant build up by removing toxic air.
Poor indoor air quality is linked to decreased concentration levels. When 30 children are in one room there will be extremely high levels of CO2, which often exceeds the CIBSE guidelines maximum of 1500ppm. This will directly affect the performance and attention span of those in the room, causing tiredness, drowsiness, and a lack of concentration and an increase to getting infected with Covid. Longer term exposure to polluted air can also lead to headaches, irritation of nose and throat, and coughs – sound familiar?
Mechanical ventilation Units have inbuilt filters, that not only filter the air that is being exhausted, but the air that is being brought in from outside. High grade filters ePM10 70% (F7) are in place on the supply air in. Although we refer to ‘fresh air’ as the air coming in from outdoors, how fresh do you really think it is? Depending on your location and distance from towns, cities and busy roads, the air pollution differs. Filtering the air coming into the classroom ensures pollution levels are minimised and ‘fresh air’ really is coming in!
Filtration should be used alongside ventilation, not instead of.
The great thing about Mechanical Ventilation is that not only does it let you control your indoor environment, but it also contributes to the temperature of the room. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery units transfer the heat from the extracted air across to the incoming air without any cross contamination. This means the heat is retained in the classroom whilst the air is being ventilated. Adding a CO2 sensor to the system provides demand control ventilation, meaning the supply and extract flows ramp up and down according to the CO2 levels.
5. Building Regulations
Ventilation is also essential to comply with the latest building regulations and guidelines which include:
- Part F and L
- Non-Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide and Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in Schools
- Building Bulletin 101 and 93 (BB101 & BB93)
Ventilation is more important than ever with an airborne virus present. Covid has disrupted our lives, but we can make sure spaces are safe again through ventilation. With masks not being mandatory in schools anymore (from the 20th of January 2022) that extra barrier of protection is gone, ventilation is now crucial for keeping people safe.
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