Improve ventilation in schools to avoid failing the IAQ test

The importance of good ventilation within schools has been recognised for many years however, there are a number of schools that are still failing to meet the most basic levels of indoor air quality (IAQ).IAQ in schools

As the Government strives to achieve its’ carbon reduction targets, there has been a shift towards “zero-leakage” and airtight buildings have become standard across the building industry. With the focus on making buildings more energy efficient, it has been said that this is responsible, at least in part, for a legacy of poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

Worryingly, the problem seems most serious in schools; and with growing evidence now showing that there are links between outbreaks of winter flu and poor classroom IAQ it has naturally given rise to serious concerns about the long-term health implications for children. Part of the problem is that the unique design and use of school buildings can exacerbate the impact of poor quality indoor air. Asthma, for example, is a well-known risk of indoor air pollution, but it is also a risk that grows as space becomes more densely packed with individuals. And educational facilities tend to be particularly densely populated.

Poor ventilation is a serious issue, excessive condensation can cause mould growth, leading to cosmetic and structural damage to the fabric of the building, which can lead to extremely poor IAQ. This then causes potential health issues for the buildings occupants.

In recent years, the health effects of poor IAQ have been gaining increased attention. Air pollution (both indoor and outdoor) has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and serious respiratory conditions. In 2013, the International Agency for Research on Cancer — an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified air pollution as a Group 1 human carcinogen. WHO estimates that indoor air pollution — the result of harmful particles within indoor environments, as well as outdoor pollutants that seep inside — was responsible for some 4.3 million deaths worldwide in 2012. Continue reading

Improve indoor air quality and reap quick wins for energy savings – Whitepaper

We have published an informative White Paper highlighting the opportunities that arise from choosing effective air filtration systems within non-domestic buildings. To find out how the indoor air quality within your organisation can be improved  whilst delivering significant energy savings, download the White Paper here.

Whitepaper cover

Many multi-site organisations and Estates Departments at larger organisations are committed to developing and implementing energy plans, involving strategy and policy on energy and sustainability. One of the main aims of these plans is to strive to balance the key principles, those of sustainability, financial viability, environmental enhancement and social responsibility.

We can demonstrate through a number of high profile installations, how air filters directly influence energy consumption within air handling units that heat, cool and clean the air of approximately 200,000 air conditioned buildings in the UK.

The White Paper, called ‘Quick wins for energy savings in buildings: Choosing low energy air filters for both optimised energy performance and indoor air quality’ addresses the challenge that all industry sectors are facing when it comes to the energy efficiency of their building stock.

The Federation of European Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Associations have estimated that within the EU alone there is a potential annual saving of 5TWh available by switching to Low Energy Air Filters. This would equate up to £500 million energy saving in the UK.

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BSRIA Indoor Air Quality Event

 The issue of Indoor Air Quality has been gradually rising in the public consciousness alongside that of city outside air pollution over the last few years. BSRIA should be praised for their presence of mind in holding this timely IAQ themed event last week in London.

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Article by Peter Dyment, Buildings IAQ and Energy Consultant – Camfil Ltd

The event called ‘Indoor Air Quality – must we live with problems?’ was aimed at anyone involved in the air quality arena including all designers, as well as controls companies, contractors, ventilation suppliers and those involved in regulation in the industry.   School children fall asleep in class and mould grows on the bathroom walls.

Buildings are getting more air tight, the VOCs in a new building are significant but ventilation systems are not coping.  The first half of the event the panel examined the problem, and the second half centred around investigating possible actions for the industry, for government and for BSRIA.

The event speakers shared some of the results from the Building Performance Evaluation programme of the Technology Strategy Board, covering both dwellings and non-domestic buildings.

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