All too often, schools have antiquated ventilation systems, many of which do not allow for operable windows or natural ventilation. This can contribute to poor indoor air quality and even sick building syndrome, exposing the building’s users to harmful chemicals, molds, and volatile organic compounds. Lack of operable windows contributes to this and hinders user autonomy.
Designing schools to utilize ventilation strategies including national ventilation that can contribute to the creation of a healthy indoor environment that responds to the local climate conditions. Simply giving people the option to open or close windows can make a difference. Sophisticated building management systems make it possible to combine mechanical ventilation with a high ratio of outside air and natural ventilation in which windows are opened automatically and heating/cooling systems turn off when the outdoor air temperature is within a defined thermal range. These controls give users a strong indoor-outdoor connection and contribute to a healthier learning environment.
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- The Hummingbird Design Lab and Professional Learning Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Fielding International (HQ)
- Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects, Third Edition - Norbert Lechner
This book has strong advice for schools considering ventilation.
- Ventilation Guidance for Schools
This guide from a state Department of Health lays out some things to consider for school ventilation strategies.