IAQ in schools report released

The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Control (USGBC) has released a report outlining how different U.S. school districts have managed indoor air quality (IAQ) over the past year.

ASHRAE provided technical support for the report, Managing Air Quality in the Pandemic: How K-12 Schools Addressed Air Quality in the Second Year of Covid-19, which is the second report released by USGBC looking at IAQ improvements at U.S. schools during the pandemic. The report highlights the urgent need to implement airborne infection control strategies to control current and future pandemics, seasonal epidemics and improve IAQ overall.

Key findings include:

  • The top challenge for schools in implementing IAQ measures was that buildings’ HVAC systems were not designed to implement the recommendations.
  • School district characteristics such as demographics, locale and size were associated with the implementation of specific measures, such as increasing outdoor air through HVAC systems and assessing outdoor air delivery.
  • Non-urban districts were more likely to lean on state and local guidance, and urban districts were more likely to use federal-level guidance and guidance from national organizations like ASHRAE.
  • More than 25 per cent of school districts said there were no new plans to implement additional ventilation, filtration or other building changes in schools.

 “Studies have shown a direct link between indoor air quality in schools and student performance and attendance,” says ASHRAE president Mick Schwedler. “This study further underscores the importance of not only providing technical guidance for improving indoor air quality, but the need for practical implementation strategies. We trust that the findings in this report will lead to more knowledge sharing, expanded partnerships and greater investments to improve indoor air quality and decarbonize our schools.”

Click here to download the report.

Center for Green Schools