Indoor air quality, ventilation and health effects in Norwegian schools
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ABSTRACT It is well known that a good indoor climate is important for health, well-being and learning. Many Norwegian school buildings experience problems with poor indoor climate, often due to lack of maintenance. The aim of this study is to investigate the indoor climate in the selected schools and discover the effects of the indoor climate on students health, focusing on the thermal and atmospheric environment. This study is divided in two main parts, a literature study and a field study. In the literature study the effects of indoor climate on students health are analysed. Recommendations and guidelines values are stated. Field measurements have been conducted in three lower secondary schools located in Trondheim; Hoeggen, Markaplassen and Rosenborg. Temperature, relative humidity (RH), CO2 concentration and PM2.5 concentration were measured continuously one week in five classrooms at each school. A web-based questionnaire were distributed to a total of 115 pupils. The objective of the questionnaire was to investigate the pupils subjective evaluation of the indoor climate. Based on the results from the field measurements the indoor climate in the three schools is quite good. CO2 exceeds the limit of 1000 ppm in some rooms at Markaplassen, but lies below in the others. The PM2.5 concentration is relatively low. This means good IAQ and adequate cleaning. The results shows that the measures introduced by the municipality, such as use of indoor shoes, is effective and works. The temperature and RH fluctuates, but is most of the time within acceptable limits. At Rosenborg, RH is below 20 %, the recommended minimum much of the time. This can cause moisture and mold problems. The temperature exceeds 22°C in several rooms in all schools. This is not optimal in terms of health and learning, and should be lowered. The results from the questionnaire shows that the most common health effects are fatigue, headache and feeling heavy-headed. The pupils also reports problems with several indoor climate factors, such as stuffy air, high/low/varying temperature and dust and dirt. It is not always that the measured indoor climate correspond with the perceived indoor climate. The measured parameter may be within acceptable limits, but the user may not experience it. Every human has their own wishes for how they want the indoor climate to be, to feel comfortable.