Smarter Ventilation in Schools – Making IAQ Part of Sustainable Architecture

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Phil Mangnall, Sales Manager at Jaga Heating Products UK, discusses how through the careful specification of a ventilation system, schools can reap the benefits of energy and cost efficiency, whilst providing an ideal internal environment for their students and staff.

There are approximately 10 million students currently in schools across the UK today. These children and young adults spend almost a third of their entire childhood at school, with around 70% of that time being spent indoors. It is a staggering statistic.

So, given the amount of time spent in these buildings, it is reasonable to expect them to be environments that help students thrive. Not only that, as a fundamental influence on the minds of future generations, surely they should be pillars of the environmental path that the construction sector is being encouraged to walk?

Architects are constantly being challenged to make efficiency gains. One area that allows this, whilst dramatically improving the internal environment for students, is ventilation.

Quite simply, we need to start taking ventilation seriously. It is more than just another facet of school building design; it is a rare opportunity to improve the health and well-being of staff and students in an environmentally friendly, cost efficient way.

Identifying the best ventilation system for any educational application can be complex – particularly given the need to factor in the three-pronged problem of indoor air quality (IAQ), energy-efficiency and sustainability that are underwritten by legislation and regulations for educational new builds.

But there is a logical solution that boosts all three without compromising an architect’s vision for a building: integrating dynamic Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) into a school’s heating system. It provides intelligent ventilation that satisfies regulatory requirements, stays within a project’s budget, and ensures the best possible learning environment for the students.

UntitledDCV is a modular, scalable solution that constantly monitors the IAQ on room by room basis, fully programmable and flexible enough to respond to differing demands. A CO2 sensor constantly monitors a classroom’s IAQ, processing the information and refreshing the air before excessively high levels of CO2 are reached. Essentially, extracting stale contaminated air and replacing it with fresh air from outside.

The intelligence to only vent fresh air as and when it is required is a highly efficient means of maintaining an optimal indoor environment – as high as 28% more efficient than natural ventilation, in fact, whilst eliminating the draughts, stuffiness and security risks that result from this alternative.

Furthermore, because it can be integrated within a school’s heating system – with the flexibility to have centralised, stand-alone or linked controls – it means that temperatures can be optimally regulated at all times, ensuring the right level of warmth according to a school’s preferences without wasting energy unnecessarily – a common trait in busy educational establishments.

By getting smarter about ventilation, schools can become examples of how to operate in an effective way that is aligned with social and environmental responsibilities. And there are options out there that can be specified in a bespoke way to satisfy architects’ requirements.

At Jaga, we call our Demand Controlled Ventilation system ‘Oxygen’, and it is fully compatible with the majority of our Low-H₂O radiators. Both Oxygen and our Low-H₂O Radiators have been certified for their energy-efficiency by KIWA. Oxygen has been recognised by the Educational Funding Agency (EFA) as a suitable solution on the Priority Schools Building Programme.

We immerse ourselves in every project, supporting both on site and with our dedicated technical team, providing genuinely tailored heating and ventilation systems. If you would like to learn more about Jaga Oxygen DCV, you can download our Ventilation in Schools Interactive Guide, or visit

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