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New Guidance Addresses IAQ in Schools
While the COVID-19 pandemic placed an emphasis on creating healthier school environments, school districts and higher education institutions across the country were tasked with how to pay for the necessary upgrades to bring students and faculty back into classrooms.
Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) was an issue in schools before the pandemic hit. A 2017 Environmental Protection Agency report said that nearly half of U.S. schools reported indoor air quality problems that put students and staff at risk. In addition to health concerns, poor ventilation and subpar cleaning practices have also contributed to poor student performance.
To help address this issue, two organizations, Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Green Seal have released the draft, Healthy Green Schools & Colleges Standard that highlights measures that managers can take to improve conditions without investing heavy capital.
The organizations say that the draft standard is the first of its kind and was designed by award-winning facility directors on the Healthy Schools & Colleges Steering Committee to address health and sustainability factors.
The standard includes a self-assessment tool that allows schools to measure their own indoor environment and sustainability performance. It will also provide guidebooks, training and other tools to improve. A points-based scoring system will help schools gauge their improvement.
Managers can learn more about the standard and submit their comments through July 16.
Dave Lubach is managing editor, Facility Group.