Cleaner Air, Better Students

by Michael Fickes

School Planning & Management

May 18, 2017.

David Story, P.E., a senior associate and mechanical engineer with Harriman recently spoke with School Planning & Management about the importance of indoor air quality.

Does your school district have an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) management program in place? If not, you might want to consider developing one and implementing it. A number of studies show that students and teachers perform better when breathing good, clean air.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately one-half of the K-12 school buildings in the U.S. have IAQ deficiencies.

What causes poor IAQ? There are several possible causes says Dave Story, PE, senior associate, mechanical engineer with Harriman, [a multidisciplinary] firm based in Auburn, Maine. “Someone may close the outside air dampers as a way to save energy,” he says. “Or the outside air dampers could fall out of adjustment or fail. “The air handling system could be set up wrong in the first place.”

Read the article on School Planning & Management’s website.

Image caption: After years of struggling with inadequate space and environmental and health hazards, voters approved the new Wentworth Intermediate School in Scarborough, Maine. The new 800-student school has modern building systems and geothermal heating and cooling that is projected to save up to $70,000 in annual energy costs. The systems also are designed to introduce up to 100 percent of outdoor air. Providing the fresh air improved the IAQ throughout the school.