Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades
Climate change is anticipated to increase the concentration of ozone and particulate matter in the air, which will affect air quality not just outside, but indoors as well. Children—whose size, still-developing lungs, and level of physical activity make them particularly susceptible to air pollution—spend a significant portion of their time in daycare or school settings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a suite of tools to help communities make energy-efficiency retrofits and upgrades to schools that will help to ensure indoor air quality (IAQ). School districts starting the building retrofit process will be able to optimize energy-efficiency upgrades without compromising occupant health.
The EPA guidebook is available for download (in PDF format) from the webpage, which also hosts several tools. A Microsoft Excel®-based Energy Savings Plus Health Checklist generator can be used to develop a custom verification checklist, along with specific assessment protocols and recommended actions tailored to a given project. An IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit includes checklists, guides, and frameworks for managing indoor air, including specific problems such as asthma or radon, as well as an interactive Problem Solving Wheel that can help school administrators identify IAQ emergencies and determine what actions to take. The page also provides guidance on how to make a business case for integrating energy efficiency retrofits with health improvements.