TG Escapes Blog

How does good classroom ventilation reduce the risk of infection?

by Mark Brown | Feb 26, 2021 | Blog, Education

The physical environment of any learning space has a direct impact on the well-being of pupils and staff, and affects educational outcomes.
Natural light is a key part of any TG Escapes building design along with thermal comfort, acoustics, and excellent air quality. These are all aspects we consider when designing our bespoke spaces for an optimum learning environment.
Fresh air helps provide stimulating conditions for students, and TG Escapes offer a range of systems to ensure that high air quality can be achieved in all types of learning spaces whether single classrooms or two-storey multi-use blocks.

However, it is now more important than ever to consider ventilation in classrooms.
Improving indoor air quality in classroom spaces should be followed to the same degree as government advice regarding social distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing to lower the risk of infection. A report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine entitled: 'Healthier schools during the COVID-19 pandemic: ventilation, testing and vaccination' sums this up very well.

Air quality and thermal comfort
The primary aim of a ventilation system is to ensure that there is air movement throughout the building, circulating air so that it does not become stale and ridding the building of pollutants by bringing fresh air in and taking stale air out.

Heating and cooling are important in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, together with the provision of good air quality and the removal of pollutants. It is especially important in maintaining CO2 levels to below 1,500ppm in order to optimise cognitive function.

Regulations and standards

The provision of ventilation in a school requires the designer to mange three key factors – air quality, thermal comfort and energy use which need to be considered together. Building Bulletin 101 provides the framework for good building design.

Provide sufficient fresh air in winter
Avoid cold draughts in winter and prevent overheating in summer
Prevent excessive energy bills

In addition, designers also take into account noise by meeting Building Bulletin 93. This describes the maximum noise levels permitted in any space under different modes of operation.
Controlling noise is critical to ensuring a good environment for studying and consideration is given to:
• Reverberation within the building
• Noise transfer
• Prevention of noise ingress
Our ventilation partners are experts in designing systems that balance the competing tensions of air quality and thermal comfort, whilst staying within the acoustic limits and energy efficiency standards.

Adaptable ventilation systems can help reduce heating bills by a factor of 3.

They operate in various modes providing optimum air quality in all seasons.

In natural mode the systems use little energy to maintain stable air quality.

In summer mode the systems provide essential cooling and air movement.

In winter mode the systems mix the outside air with warmed air from inside to provide an ideal working temperature and avoid draughts.

The net result of better air quality
• Increased student performance
• Decreased respiratory health effects
• Decreased student absence

TG Escapes work with a choice of providers to deliver the best solution for the unique spaces in a TG Escapes eco-building.

 

About the author

Mark Brown
Consultant at TG Escapes - Mark has spent time growing up with the army, studying computing before the internet existed, and founding The London Classic Theatre Company, self sustaining for over 25 years. He trained in marketing with Unilever before moving into advertising as a strategist with Leo Burnett, Creative Director at Starcom and founder of award winning creative agency Weapon7. He has a passion for eco buildings and helps run the social enterprise Street Wisdom, providing free creative walkshops around the world.

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