More than the Air you Breathe

It has become apparent over the years, that more problems negatively affect building occupants than just poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).These additional problems can include but are not limited to structural issues, design and layout issues, mechanical issues, noise issues and even lighting issues. The inclusion of these additional factors in building occupant satisfaction has led to the use of the term Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), which can either simply include IAQ issues or be referred to in addition to IAQ issues.

Several of the factors mentioned above, specifically structural, design and mechanical issues, tend to directly affect air quality. Research has concluded that IAQ/IEQ factors not only affect the comfort and health of building occupants, but has also been shown to significantly impact student academic performance both directly and indirectly. Students are directly affected when their comfort and health levels are decreased, with their ability to learn and retain lessons also declining. Likewise, a teacher’s ability to teach and interact with their students decreases when their comfort and health levels are negatively impacted. Teachers and students spend a significant amount of time in their school buildings, in some cases more time than they spend at home; therefore, it is crucial that school administrators and facility managers recognize the importance of proactively addressing IAQ/IEQ issues in their school buildings.