With schools having had to deal with extreme disruption during the pandemic, head teachers have been looking for ways to mitigate COVID transmission in schools to help ensure children can learn safely in the classroom. The Government has cited the importance of well-ventilated rooms, with ventilation a key mitigation that helps reduce COVID cases. In fact, a recent study by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) has found that poorly ventilated classrooms result in six times the number of COVID cases.
With the added threat of the highly transmissible COVID variant Omicron, it’s essential that schools are able to effectively ventilate classrooms to reduce transmission and avoid further closures. It’s also important for schools to be able to balance thermal comfort and effective levels of ventilation. Vent-Axia has therefore created a new webpage for schools at https://www.vent-axia.com/ventilationinschools explaining how to protect students’ wellbeing while keeping them warm, and detailing ventilation solutions.
Having effective ventilation installed and improving the indoor air quality (IAQ) is paramount to the health and wellbeing of both students and teachers. If a school does not have adequate ventilation, then the only option is to open windows, this not only causes heat loss and cold draughts depending on the season but high levels of CO2 can build-up if windows are left unopened which often exceeds the CIBSE guidelines maximum of 1500ppm directly affecting the performance and attention span of those in the room, causing tiredness, drowsiness, and a lack of concentration. Longer term exposure to polluted air is also linked too many serious health conditions such as cancer, asthma and cardiovascular diseases.
“Schools have been set a huge challenge in keeping classrooms open and students safe during the pandemic. With this latest study adding to the body of evidence of the vital role of ventilation in reducing COVID spread, our new webpage aims to provide schools with all the information they need in one place” explains Tom Wodcke, Product Manager at Vent-Axia. “As well as reducing COVID transmission and helping ensure thermal comfort, ventilation in classrooms provides good indoor air quality (IAQ) protecting the health and wellbeing of students and staff and increasing concentration and productivity levels.”
Schools will be aware of the value of CO2 monitors as a proxy sensor since the Government has been supplying them to state schools to identify badly ventilated areas. Vent-Axia’s CO2 sensors are discreetly located on a wall and can intelligently boost ventilation based on the detected CO2 levels. They can also provide a warning indication for teachers if CO2 levels rise above acceptable levels with a useful traffic light system on the front, so that teachers can activate purge ventilation when required.
Vent-Axia also has a range of solutions for schools to improve their ventilation. The Slimpak EC box fan ducted system continuously supplies fresh air or extracts stale air or both. These fans can be connected to a CO2 sensor for optimal air quality control. Meanwhile, the ACM100-200 and ACM250-315 mixed flow in-line fans provide ceiling mounted cooling in the summer or can recirculate the warm air from the ceiling in the winter to minimise the amount of time space heaters need to be active.
Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon T-Series fans can provide background or purge ventilation in a classroom and are easily fitted to an existing window or through a wall. A single fan can provide enough ventilation to comply with BB101 for a 32-pupil classroom. Furthermore, the Vent-Axia PureAir Room is an advanced multistage air cleaning system that can remove harmful particles and smells from a classroom. Thanks to being portable, it can be located anywhere where there is a mains outlet meaning no installation is required.
Vent-Axia is here to help schools with free advice to help them protect their students from COVID in most cost-effective way. Visit the webpage at https://www.vent-axia.com/ventilationinschools to find out more and to get in touch with Vent-Axia.