A holistic approach for the assessment of the indoor environmental quality, student productivity, and energy consumption in primary schools
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The perception of the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) through questionnaires in conjunction with in-field measurements related to the indoor air quality (IAQ), the thermal comfort and the lighting environment were studied in nine naturally ventilated schools of Athens, Greece. Cluster analysis was carried out in order to determine the ranges of indoor air pollutants, temperature (T), relative humidity (RH), and ventilation rates at which the students were satisfied with the indoor environment. It was found that increased levels of particulate matter did not have a negative effect on students’ perception while students seemed to link the degradation of IAQ with temperature variations. Statistically significant correlations were further found between measurement results and students’ perception of the IEQ. Students’ sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms and performance of schoolwork were also investigated as a function of the levels of indoor air pollutants and ventilation, and there were found significant positive correlations between particulate matter (PM) and certain health symptoms. Students’ learning performance seemed to be affected by the ventilation rates and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations while certain health effects positively correlated to the levels of PM and CO2. The energy consumption of schools was rather low compared to other national findings, and both the electricity and oil consumption for heating positively correlated to the levels of indoor air pollutants.
KeywordsIEQ Questionnaires Measurements Productivity Energy Schools
The authors would like to acknowledge all of the participants in the experimental campaign. In particular, they gratefully acknowledge the contribution of John Syfnaios and Katerina Stathi in the conduction of the experimental campaign, the schools’ directors and teachers for their support during the monitoring period, and finally the students for their participation in the survey. This research has been cofinanced by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)-Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II (MIS 346942). Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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