Breathing easy. Fresh air management through the School.
October 15, 2021
There has been quite a lot of discussion about air quality in classrooms as we return to school in the coming weeks. Our Property Department has undertaken extensive audits and mitigation in this area. For the information and interest of our Community Q&A is shared below:
- What action has the School taken with regard to air quality?
As per the AIS and the NSW Dept of Education guidelines and recommendations, the School has completed a ventilation review/audit of every classroom and common area in the school. This included fresh air intake to HVAC (Heat Ventilation Air Conditioning) systems, window operability and door operability to remain open as we would usually keep these closed to ensure the efficiency of the HVAC system.
- Can air conditioning be utilised to maximise fresh air flow?
Where it is possible, all HVAC systems have been overridden to allow maximum fresh air intake, and minimal recirculation of air. This has been possible in all JS classrooms, G Block, M Block, D Block, E Block, REES Hall, the IGC and some other areas. This equates to around 70% of the entire teaching and learning facilities within the school. Fresh air HVAC ventilation will occur in concert with the opening of windows and doors to maximise the cross ventilation. We have chosen to enable these options for maximum air flow achievement even though there will be a negative impact on efficient and sustainable HVAC system management.
In addition, over the holiday break, our scheduled maintenance was carried out where all filters to our HVAC systems throughout the entire school have been cleaned and/or replaced and many have been upgraded to the highest level of filtration available where this was possible.
- Will ventilation guidelines be established for all spaces?
All Spaces will have a customised ventilation plan, with basic instructions on how the room should be set up during the day to facilitate recommended airflow. These have been developed in consultation with our HVAC professionals that perform all of the installation and maintenance for the entire school. Our operational cleaning staff will be assisting with implementing these regimes at the commencement and conclusion of each school day. TIGS staff will also be accessing outdoor learning where possible and practical.
- How are Air Purifiers being deployed?
TIGS has also invested in standalone wall mounted air filtration/purification systems that include HEPA filters as well as UVC Light & Bipolar Ionization. These units also measure air quality and perform gas level monitoring in real time. This will provide data that will allow us to determine CO2 levels, temperature, humidity, VOC etc. These will be deployed in areas where larger numbers of students gather as an added precaution. These units will assist the School in monitoring and evaluating fresh air flows on Campus and will be rotated through multiple spaces throughout the school.