As much as we have known about the dangers of outdoor air pollution, the scientific community has also continually written about how indoor air quality should be a concern, especially in schools. Students spend most of their day inside classrooms where they are also exposed to the insidious risks of poor indoor air quality, which can effectively impair their performance and their health.
Risks of a Poorly Ventilated Classroom
While classrooms are built to be optimal learning spaces, ventilation isn’t always a prime focus. When windows can’t be opened to let air in and out, the AC tends to recirculate air that contains dust, biological contaminants, particulates, and most of all, the carbon dioxide (CO2) that people breathe out.
“Air-conditioning without ventilation for schools is the worst possible solution you can imagine,” according to Scientia Professor Mat Santamouris, of the Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture UNSW. The acceptable amount of CO2 in a classroom is 1,000 ppm. When classrooms are filled, this spikes up to 4,000 ppm – four times the optimal amount. And when there is more CO2 present in classrooms, students can suffer from lack of oxygen, leaving them unable to concentrate. Students can also get headaches, nauseated, and constantly feel tired and sleepy from lack of oxygen.
Some of the more dire effects also include eye irritations, getting allergies, having trouble breathing, developing asthma, and chronic lung conditions.
The world has learned in 2020 how easy it is to transmit disease from one person to another, especially in an enclosed area like a classroom. Everyone is vulnerable to the same viruses, bacteria, and microbes that are not filtered out by a well-ventilated space.
Ventilation in classrooms largely depends on the opening of windows, but they may not be opened frequently enough to avoid heat loss and thermal discomfort, especially in the colder winter months. This results in more concentrated CO2 levels inside the classroom.
The number of cases of poor classroom performance and student health concerns because of poor indoor air quality keeps growing every year. As such, there is a renewed focus on building construction and innovations that address this problem. One of the best-known solutions to poor classroom ventilation in recent years is the installation of automated louvre windows.
Benefits of Automated Louvre Windows
With manually operable windows, the onus rests on students, teachers and maintenance personnel who will most likely open them based solely on feeling. Even before the air feels stuffy, there has already been more CO2, more dust, more particulates circulating in the room.
On the other hand, automated louvre windows reduce the reliance on human input, and effectively monitors and maintains proper CO2 levels inside the classroom. These automated windows have also been developed to monitor temperature and humidity, so it can automatically purge stale air and let fresh air in.
Safetyline Jalousie understands that there is a direct correlation between student academic performance and health and indoor air quality in learning spaces. To address this prevailing issue, we have developed a turnkey air quality solution with our automated louvre windows and the SmartAir System.
The SmartAir System is a fully automated and pre-programmable device that cues and operates our high-performance louvre windows. With its capabilities in accurately detecting and monitoring temperature, humidity and CO2 levels, it helps achieve up to 86% free air in classrooms without the need to manually open windows. With this specific system in place, schools are assured that students are no longer exposed to the risks of poor indoor air quality.
Apart from the SmartAir Systems automatic functionalities, the louvre windows also feature superior sealing to block wind, water and noise, ensuring optimal learning spaces regardless of any outdoor disruption. They can also be programmed to automatically close and lock in the event of heavy rains and wind without requiring human input.
Safetyline Jalousie has provided high-quality, high-performance louvre windows to over 350 school projects across Australia. We have supplied approximately 80,00 louvre windows along with 12,000 motors to operate automatically in critical learning spaces.
The Final Word
Indoor air quality affects students’ academic performance more than we expected. By providing students the best classrooms, libraries and other learning spaces through high-performance automated louvre windows, we are supporting their health and their education. Contact us to know more about how our louvre windows can enhance your building project.
Read our recent blog about the need for better humidity control regulations in public spaces.