Schools - The Challenge of Multiple Environments

Ventilation maintenance can be a challenge within premises like schools and listed buildings

Education establishments present particular challenges, and opportunities, to those working in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) field.  Many have swimming pools, canteens, gym areas, changing rooms with shower facilities, libraries, large halls with the capacity to seat hundreds, and classrooms of assorted sizes.  These each require expert understanding of ventilation hygiene legislation to match optimum solutions, from routine inspections of ductwork through to AHU remedial works, ensuring the health and well-being of the students and employees.

Such a variety of environments within single establishments present a number of risks:

Schools & Listed Buildings

In older schools and listed buildings, the rooms can be small and the buildings themselves may be draughty and colder than modern, purpose-built schools.  These conditions can propose a challenge to install HVAC systems without compromising the listed building regulations.

Most schools have their own kitchens to provide lunches for their students, and in universities there are often numerous catering outlets, all requiring regular ductwork cleaning in order to comply with legislation and the fire regulatory reform order to eliminate the risk of fire.

Auditoriums capable of seating hundreds must be well ventilated for comfort and health all year round.

Libraries housing sometimes over tens of thousands of books need to be kept at a state of low humidity to prevent mould damage to this valuable resource.

Small classrooms can be stifling in summer, and relying on natural ventilation alone is often not sufficient.  Again, regulations like the BS EN 15780 outline the requirements needed to ensure the wellbeing of students, pupils and staff.

Swimming Pools & Humidity

The humidity in swimming pools and shower facility areas can lead to excessive condensation, and coupled with the effects of chlorine, result in damage to the actual fabric of the building, potentially causing expensive repairs.  

These warm, damp conditions also provide an ideal environment for moulds to flourish, which can acerbate the symptoms of common respiratory infections including asthma.  Humid conditions are also ideal for the multiplication of germs including colds and flu, and more serious infections such as the norovirus and other sickness causing contagions.

Even faced with such a variety of challenges, Ventilation Surveys and Services Ltd are fully versed with all the necessary legislation to effectively install and conduct any required maintenance within in an establishment of this kind.  VSS has provided solutions for many schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK - In each case, a thorough survey has been conducted by experts, solutions costed in detail and all necessary legal compliance explained.   

For more information about our ventilation survey and maintenance services contact us

Posted on March 28, 2013 and filed under VSS News, Risk & Consequence.