Winter Indoor Air Quality, Thermal Comfort and Acoustic Performance of Newly Built Schools in England

Winter Indoor Air Quality, Thermal Comfort and Acoustic Performance of Newly Built Schools in England

Previous studies have found that classrooms are often inadequately ventilated, with the resultant increased risk of negative impacts on the pupils. This paper describes a series of field measurements investigating  the indoor air quality, thermal comfort and acoustic performance of nine recently built secondary schools in England and  makes a number of conclusions regarding school design. Chief of these  is that the complex interaction between ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics presents considerable challenges for designers. The study showed that while the acoustic standards are demanding it was possible to achieve natural ventilation designs that meet the criteria for indoor ambient noise levels when external noise levels are reasonably low. The most telling conclusion of the research is the degree to which most classrooms in the sample have met the requirement of not exceeding 1500 ppm of CO2 averaged over the day but how few will meet the need to readily provide 8 l/s per person under the easy control of the occupants. It would seem that the basic requirement of 1500 ppm of CO2 is achieved as a consequence of the window areas being just sufficient to provide that level of fresh air (approximately 5 l/s per person) at low and intermittent occupancy. The thermal comfort in the classrooms monitored was mostly acceptable but temperatures tended to be much higher in practice than the design assumed.

 This research has ben carried out by AECOM, University College London (The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies), BSRIA and SRL. Published in Building and Environment.

 

 

 

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