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CASE STUDIES


The importance of a high IAQ in education


It is well known that outdoor air pollution has an impact on health, but indoor air pollution can also have signifi cant and harmful eff ects. Good indoor air quality (IAQ) plays a major role in establishing a favourable learning environment, as well as protecting the health and supporting the productivity of both students and staff . Alan Macklin, group technical director at Elta Group discusses the importance of good indoor air quality in educational buildings.


O


ver the past 40-50 years, indoor air pollution has increased due to a variety of factors, including the construction of tightly sealed buildings, the reduction of ventilation rates to save energy, the use of synthetic building materials and furnishings, and the use of chemically formulated personal products such as pesticides and cleaning supplies.


Schools and colleges, alongside other educational buildings, are now at increased risk


62 November 2017


of indoor air quality issues, particularly if they are in poor condition.


Leaking roofs and crumbling walls can cause additional issues, including contamination from lead, asbestos or dust. Despite school staff and students spending a considerable amount of time in the confi nes of their buildings, a particular unknown fact is that for many, the impact of indoor pollutants can be considerably higher than those outdoors.


Achieving good indoor air quality Thermal comfort concerns will be closely linked to ‘poor air quality’ complaints, so it is important that temperature and humidity levels are not overlooked. Both of these are among the many factors that aff ect indoor contaminants. According to Building Bulletin 101 (BB101), it is at a thousand parts per million that CO2 levels begin to make concentration levels drop. Similarly, temperature can also be detrimental to concentration, with people generally becoming


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