Survey of the indoor air quality at schools

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Survey of the indoor air quality at schools


Author: Tam, Po-kwong
Title: Survey of the indoor air quality at schools
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1999
Subject: Schools -- China -- Hong Kong -- Environmental aspects
Air quality -- China -- Hong Kong
Indoor air pollution -- China -- Hong Kong -- Measurement
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: xv, 57, [438] leaves : ill. (some col.), col. maps ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Two different types of ventilation system are commonly adopted in the schools: i) window A/C units plus mechanical exhaust (and supply) fans and ii) natural ventilation supplemented by ventilation fans. There was not much research work conducted in school premises around the territory. Besides, after implementation of the Noise Control Ordinance, many new and existing schools have installed air-conditioning system. According to information from the Education Department, the Department has already arranged to install air-conditioning equipment in approximately 5,400 classrooms to alleviate the noise problem. It is beneficiary and worthwhile to investigate the indoor air quality at schools so as to sort out any possible health risk to the building occupants, especially the children. On the other hand, government or subvented schools constructed by either the Architectural Services Department (ASD) or the Housing Department (HD) are more or less similar, both in the building appearance and the services installed. The mechanical ventilation system design will be discussed in Chapter 8. Besides, the IAQ records taken from these schools can be set up as a database for future reference. The main objectives of this research project are 1) to investigate the effect of the type of ventilation on the air quality inside classrooms, particularly the carbon dioxide concentration, temperature and relative humidity. 2) to apply the statistical software - Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and verify for any possible correlation between indoor air parameters and students' reported symptoms inside classrooms. 3) to study the Year 2000 version standard primary and secondary schools ventilation system design. Twenty schools strategically selected around the territory; including both primary and secondary schools were approached to conduct the indoor air quality survey. Subsequently, eleven schools granted permission. Considering the need of continuous measurement and to minimize disturbance to the class activities, automatic data loggers were used to provide real time monitoring and in-depth study of carbon dioxide concentration, temperature and relative humidity in the classrooms. The indoor air quality data collected at the schools are analysed. Results indicated that the capacities of window A/C units at the air-conditioned classrooms were insufficient to extract the moisture generated from breathing. Besides, the ventilation rates of exhaust (and air intake) fans at most air-conditioned schools were below ASHRAE's recommendations. According to the measured carbon dioxide concentrations at the natural ventilated schools, the ventilation rates were generally in order. However, the temperature and humidity at the classrooms were either close to the boundary or out of the comfort zone as defined in ASHRAE Standard 55-1981, especially during the summer season. Apart from the physical measured data, information from questionnaires returned by the students have been tested with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) programme. The students' subjective evaluation of the indoor air quality and environmental parameters are found to be generally in-line with the indoor climatologic measurements. Finally, an overview of existing schools' ventilation design and recommendations on the possible improvements are given in Chapter 8. Moreover, an introduction to the Year 2000 version standard primary and secondary schools has been included as part of the research work.

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