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Ventilation has recently become a hot topic, especially with the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic. The relation between a proper ventilated space and the reduction of the transmission of respiratory infections is not new. Models used to estimate the infection risk due to influenza, SARS, tuberculosis or rhinovirus in indoor spaces were early developed in 1978. Recent studies report a reduction in the incidence of infections when improving the ventilation rate to keep carbon dioxide concentrations below 1000 ppm. Proper ventilation is also required to ensure lecturers and students’ wellbeing and enhanced cognitive abilities.

 

In Spain, schools built before 2007 (the vast majority) are usually located in buildings without mechanical ventilation. Thus, the Indoor Air Quality depends on the personal perception of the occupants and the actions they might following undertake. Natural ventilation solutions are seen to be the most practical and effective measures. However, and especially during cold seasons, occupants may not follow the recommendations of opening windows due to thermal discomfort and, therefore, the indoor air quality can be compromised. On the other way round and if recommendations are followed, energy consumption rises to neutralize thermal discomfort.

 

This project aims to optimize the ventilation strategies in educational centres taking into account the indoor air quality thermal comfort, energy consumption and global costs. Defining proper ventilation strategies will ensure that indoor activities in educational buildings are conducted with appropriate indoor air quality and thermal comfort, increasing the wellbeing and health of the occupants along with their productivity and performance.

 

 Objectives

 

 Project implementation

 Impact

The most relevant scientific and technical outputs of the IAQ4EDU project are:

The project is also expected to have substantial socio-economic impacts:

 

 Administrative details

Title of the project: IAQ4EDU - Optimal ventilation strategies for balancing Indoor Air Quality, comfort and energy use in EDUcational buildings.

Principal investigators: Dr. Marta Gangolells and Dr. Pablo Pujadas.

Beneficiary: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

Funding body: Agencia Estatal de Investigación.

Funding program: Programa Estatal de I+D+I Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad.

Reference: PID2020-117366RB-I00.

Funding: 132.011,00 €.

Duration: 36 months.

Starting date: September 2021.