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Improving a school’s energy performance can affect more than utility bills. It also can boost indoor air quality (IAQ) and improve student performance and make classrooms healthier for students and staff.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched a new campaign, Efficient and Healthy Schools, that is designed to provide practical guidance on ventilation upgrades that can increase energy efficiency, lower costs, and improve the air in K-12 schools nationwide.
Many schools are looking for ways to improve ventilation, filtration, and IAQ. In particular, American Rescue Plan education funds, aimed at improving ventilation in schools to prevent COVID-19, are available to support schools in making operational changes as well as longer-term investments, such as upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a facilitator in getting school districts to sign up and get on board in the DOE’s new campaign, which is working to improving energy efficiency and IAQ.
Participating schools receive guidance on HVAC solutions and other technologies that can improve energy performance and IAQ. In particular, the campaign encourages schools serving low-income student populations to participate. DOE leads the campaign with technical support from the Berkeley Lab.
Dan Hounsell is senior editor, facility group.