ORLANDO, Fla. - A study by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) addressed indoor air quality and general environmental conditions in schools throughout the United States. Tools employed to investigate conditions included a nationwide Web-based survey, observing actual operating conditions in schools through field audits and diagnostic tests, and retrofits in problem schools. Survey results found temperature to be by far the greatest comfort complaint in regular classrooms, with indoor air quality and then humidity being the next greatest areas of complaints.

Ventilation problems were found at each of eight audited schools. These problems appear to be occurring due to a combination of factors including lack of maintenance, lack of knowledge of the systems, and in some cases poor system design. Four small retrofit projects were also completed.

According to the FSEC, the results from this study indicate that without substantial funding for and prioritization of school maintenance, widespread significant school improvements will not be realized.

For more information on the study, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu/bldg/pubs/schoolconditions/index.htm.

Publication date: 08/21/2006