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Good air for good learning

Schools should serve as role models, as they are used spatially not only for learning but also as a place of experience that can shape the behaviour and attitudes of the school students.

As part of the Energy-Efficient Schools (EnEff:Schule) research initiative implemented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, twelve projects (7 refurbishments, 5 new-build schemes) are showing which measures are technically feasible as well as how much energy can be saved and at what cost. Accompanying sociological research is evaluating the influences on user behaviour and acceptance as well as the effects on learning comfort and everyday school life. In addition to many other criteria, a very important comfort factor in classrooms is the air quality. The results of the monitoring show, however, that this often does not meet expectations. Mechanical or hybrid ventilation is therefore recommended for both new-build schemes and refurbishments. The desired indoor air quality must be known when designing the systems, from which the air exchange rate can then be derived. The CO2 content has proved itself in practice for classifying the indoor air quality. The evaluations verify that central or hybrid ventilation concepts are more suitable for new school buildings but that decentralised systems are more suitable for school refurbishments. The ventilation systems used in the EnEff:Schule project are regulated differently. Two strategies are recommended: CO2-led and schedule-led regulation. Ventilation signals are suitable for supporting the window ventilation, which, depending on the CO2 concentration, are illuminated red, yellow or green.

The air quality was rated as being mostly poor in the sociological surveys. It is therefore recommended that sufficient ventilation should be provided so that 1,200 ppm CO2 is not exceeded.

The ventilation systems require continuous monitoring during operation, including maintenance and repair work. Not only should the system parameters be checked and optimised during the commissioning, but the users should also be briefed in detail on how to operate them. They need to know how to use the ventilation systems to achieve a good indoor climate.

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Links

St. Francis Primary School
Website of the primary school in Halle (in German)

ENERGIEWENDEBAUEN
Projects, reports, news and analysis from the research initiative ENERGIEWENDEBAUEN