Hassan Sherbaz, Solutions Architect at Connexin, explains how high CO2 levels can lead to disruption within schools and how smart monitoring solutions can help them make informed decisions about ventilation across their buildings to protect students.

 

 

 

 

 

The Department of Education recently made a major announcement that will help enhance schools’ and pupils’ safety. Within the next term, the Government will make 300,000 carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring solutions, roughly one device for every two classrooms, available to the education sector to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks.
This policy will be welcomed by many and whilst being an ambitious undertaking, it is a necessary one that will ensure schools’ premises with zones of poor ventilation are identified and the appropriate improvements are applied.
Due to the pandemic, ventilation has become an important topic within education. However, whilst COVID-19 has accelerated the focus on ventilation, it is not a new problem for schools. Research has found that poor airflow can lead to a number of problems within educational buildings, including causing drowsiness and headaches, reducing productivity, increasing the rates of absences and inflicting building damage.
Whilst ventilation has been well managed in the summer months by keeping windows and doors always open, winter is coming and schools need to find the right balance between ensuring temperature and humidity conditions are acceptable and comfortable for students. This is where CO2 monitors will have a key role to play.
The question for schools now is how can they effectively use CO2 monitors to help them improve ventilation and what solutions should they be looking to adopt?
Firstly, by monitoring CO2 levels throughout the day, schools can identify which areas require the windows and doors to be opened ahead of their unhealthy peaks, whilst still maintaining comfortable temperature and humidity. The preferred level of CO2 is currently 1000 parts per million (ppm), with an acceptable baseline of up to 1500ppm, and by ensuring classrooms remain within these levels, will guarantee there is sufficient ventilation to limit the spread of COVID-19 so that students have access to cleaner air.
However, installing and managing multiple monitors across different rooms will be a costly and time-consuming process that may disrupt pupils’ lessons. If schools want to find an effective way of implementing CO2 monitors, they need to be looking at smart technologies that are agile, mobile and provide them with vital data.
For example, by using battery powered CO2 solutions that run using a low-powered network, schools can save money by reducing the amount of monitors they need to install as these can be moved about to different rooms. Once a particular schedule for opening windows is established for certain zones, these devices can be placed in other at-risk areas, allowing schools to gain a full insight into their whole building without needing to monitor multiple, fixed devices. By monitoring CO2 levels throughout the day in this way, they can identify areas which require the windows and doors to be opened ahead of their unhealthy peaks, whilst still maintaining comfortable temperature and humidity.
At the same time, by using smart monitors, schools also have the added benefit of being able to gather and utilise data that can help them make long-term improvements to their infrastructure. These devices are constantly collecting information on the CO2 levels of the rooms they operate in, which can help facility managers identify at-risk areas to know whether a regular schedule of opening and closing windows will be sufficient to meet the required standards. If these at-risk areas can’t be managed safely, a business case can be built to retrofit or upgrade the ventilators and solutions can be implemented in specific areas, rather than unnecessary changes being made throughout the whole school, which again can prove costly and time-consuming.
The Department of Education has taken an important step towards improving students’ and staffs’ health and wellbeing in our schools through providing CO2 monitors. The Government and educational establishments need to make the most of this opportunity and by implementing smart solutions, they have a chance to create safer learning environments which also provide long-term, cost-effective solutions for everyone.

www.connexin.co.uk

 

Good air quality in classrooms is good for academic performance as well as the safety of occupants.

Recent events have focused even more attention on indoor air quality and while some new technologies have emerged, the fundamental approach of bringing more fresh air into buildings is still the most effective way to improve indoor air quality. Improved monitoring and better controls have provided more opportunities to optimise energy efficiency while providing better indoor air quality.

Fan Convectors with fresh Air introduction – Dunham-Bush offer a range of products from Series AM fan convectors equipped with fresh air dampers and CO2 controls to networks of fan convectors with additional features.

The Smart-Vector range of fresh air fan convectors offer further innovative options to the client, ensuring recommended indoor air qualities (IAQ) are achieved. Smart-Vector’s provide demand-led tempered fresh air and heating using a stand-alone controller with local setpoint adjustment. Multiple heaters can be operated in master / slave configuration to ensure effective control in larger spaces.

There are five models in the Smart-Vector range: floor standing front outlet models SV19 and SV22; top outlet model SV88; high wall model SV53; ceiling mounted SV80. With nominal outputs ranging from 1.4kW to 14.6kW, comfortable conditions in the space can be maintained. All units incorporate variable air volume (VAV) control function, to maintain design conditions.

Improved Indoor air Quality with Heat Recovery – The next step in the improvement of indoor air quality for schools can include heat recovery, not heat recovery by mixing fresh air with room air and exhausting a mixture of both but the use of a high efficiency metal heat exchanger, a design which ensures excellent specific fan power and very low noise in a compact unit.

The Classmaster heat recovery ventilation unit has been developed specifically for classrooms and along with all the VHR range of units now available from Dunham-Bush, fully complies with the latest BB101 and BB93 guidelines. With airflows ranging from 50 to 600l/s, Classmaster delivers the very highest standards of air quality.

Key features include a patented variable air mass flow heat exchanger, which maintains thermal efficiency at both 100% and 50% airflow. The unique configuration of low resistance heat exchangers, used in conjunction with EC fans, delivers minimal sound levels and excellent heat reclaim efficiency while monitoring and controlling levels of CO2 in the space.

Classmaster units have the option of ePM2.5 (F7) filters for inner city installations. With a height of only 300mm, Classmaster 260 can be installed within a ceiling void or surface mounted. Space heating coils and frost coils are also available for the Classmaster range.

www.dunham-bush.co.uk

For a natural or hybrid ventilation solution in schools and other educational facilities Passivent can provide design expertise and technical support acquired over 35 years of business.
The Hybrid Plus2 Aircool® is just one of the products in Passivent’s education range.  Not only does this system improve indoor air quality, thermal comfort and the wellbeing of its occupants, it also meets the requirements of Building Bulletin 101 “Guidelines on ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality in schools” and Building Bulletin 93 “Acoustic design of schools – performance standards”.

Most commonly used in classrooms the Hybrid Plus2 Aircool® is a quiet and energy-efficient hybrid ventilation system requiring minimal maintenance. It has different operational modes that are dependent on the internal and external environment. Sensors respond automatically to increases in temperature and CO2 and a boost function maximises fresh air supply.  Suitable for a wall or window construction, the Hybrid Plus2 Aircool is lightweight and modular in design and can be ceiling-mounted or ducted within a ceiling void.  The system is controlled by the Passivent iC8000 controller allowing for up to 40 individual zones to be managed.
Passivent’s range of roof terminals are also extremely popular in the education sector and are ideal for larger spaces such as halls and atriums. They offer Class A 100% certified rain rejection (to BS EN 13030:2001) so that a building can be fully ventilated regardless of weather conditions. BRE tested, they are resistant to continuous wind loads at 51 m/s and motorised base dampers control the airflow with excellent thermal and airtightness performance when closed.  Available in a range of designs and sizes to suit a building’s aesthetics and ventilation requirements, they can also be colour-matched to any RAL or BS colour.  Installation is made easier by their lightweight construction and integral sub-base.

 

As with the Hybrid Plus2 Aircool the roof terminals are automatically controlled by Passivent’s iC8000 controller which monitors the indoor environment through CO2 and temperature sensors. BACnet compatibility also enables communication between the controller and the building management system.
For further information or support with your natural ventilation project contact Passivent on 01732 850 770, email projects@passivent.com or visit the website.

www.passivent.com

Roy Jones, Technical Director at Gilberts Blackpool, offers advice on how to balance keeping pupils and staff COVID-safe and warm.

As we head into the cooler weather, there is one question on every school estates management team’s mind: how to ensure adequate ventilation to minimise COVID risk, maintain a comfortably warm internal environment- without spending even more of limited budgets on ensuring no further waste of energy?
The question is further complicated in that COVID guidance is still frequently changing, and often varies depending on your geographical location. Fortunately, at least where schools and ventilation is concerned, there seems to be a united approach from the devolved Governments: follow the guidance issued by the Health & Safety Executive (1). I would further advise to cross-reference with the latest advice from the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers CIBSE(2).
Whichever guidance you choose to use, the priority is to ensure there is adequate ventilation within the spaces: there is greater risk of catching any illness in a poorly ventilated room. It is further stressed that there needs to be a balance between ensuring occupants have a reasonable level of thermal comfort without a significant increase in energy demand.

 

 

Inevitably, one has to balance the advice alongside the ventilation system in place. Few schools can afford the cost and disruption of completely replacing the ventilation system. The Government is currently consulting on Building Regulations Approved Document F (ventilation), Approved Document L (conservation of fuel and power). It is also consulting on its approach to choosing schools for the School Rebuilding Programme. Indeed it is assessing every school in England to review the need and type of refurbishment. One thing I am certain about is the new need to review ventilation systems in line with current COVID guidance, which will impact on the decisions taken, with the need to balance energy efficiency, health & wellbeing.
Currently, the key elements for any ventilation strategy are to avoid overheating, provide exemplary indoor air quality including addressing pollutants, and meet energy efficiency and environmental standards. Department of Education preference (Building Bulletin 101) is for ventilation strategies that are sustainable; natural ventilation has for years been the strategy of choice, and the recommendation of the DfE, but there is a growth in popularity in alternatives such as hybrid/ mixing box systems, ground or air heat source.
Our climate is actually well suited to natural ventilation, with low extremes of temperature. It delivers benefits for everyone. For the architect and M&E consultants it is comparatively easy to design in when committed to the scheme; for the contractor it is usually simple to install. For the school it costs literally nothing to run and there are very low associated maintenance costs. For the occupants it gives improved air quality eliminating ‘sick building syndrome’- indeed, it is proven to aid student concentration and performance. Assuming appropriate performance targets are met in the system design, it should also deliver the air quality and air changes required to be COVID- compliant.
However, the simplicity of hybrid systems has led to their becoming the alternative of choice within school buildings, with their taking the best of natural ventilation but minimising energy wastage. Computer modelling of hybrid systems has shown in a typical primary school, all the ventilation performance criteria are met, and an improvement in the Target Emission Rate (TER)  against alternative strategies: 12% achieved, compared with a typical MVHR system, which yielded only 8.5%.
Ventilation hybrid systems (such as Gilberts’ MFS {Mistrale Fusion}) are stand-alone, with one (or two) units serving each classroom. The unit ensures an even distribution of airflow, with control over temperature and CO2 levels within, and maintains a comfortable internal environment for occupants, with energy costs as low as £5/classroom/year (based on current energy costs for running the fan). COVID-compliant ventilation is achieved either by increasing flow rate to reduce CO2 levels, or by utilising LPHW coils.
In these COVID times, it is possible to adjust the system to run on 100% fresh air, using the heat coil to temper the incoming air temperature (COVID mode). This keeps a cleaner and safer environment whilst ensuring indoor temperatures are not compromised at all, thereby avoiding cold draughts without the need to boost heating systems to maintain internal comfort levels.
We’d advise the best way forward is to work with experts, such as Gilberts, who have the knowledge to guide you and ensure the systems you install are not just energy efficient, but compliant and COVID-safe.

(1) https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation/assesssment-of-fresh-air.htm
(2) https://www.cibse.org/knowledge/knowledge-items/detail?id=a0q3Y00000HsaFtQAJ

www. gilbertsblackpool.com

The opening of the Lotus School in Blackpool is a first in more ways than one. It is the first purpose-built social environmental mental health school in the area. The £4.5m project is also the first in the area to be fitted with the first COVID-compliant hybrid ventilation.

The main teaching classrooms and sports hall are all aired using Gilberts (Blackpool) Ltd’s innovative MFS hybrid ventilation units, installed by Read & Errington. In total, 24no MFS 128 units have been fitted through the two-storey façade into the classrooms, with a further three MFS-V roof-mounted units to the sports/main hall.

Gilberts’ MFS is also the first of its type to be COVID-compliant as standard.

Since its launch, MFS has become the product of choice for ventilation in schools, combining natural ventilation with a heat exchanger to minimise energy wastage by extracting, via a low energy fan and mixing damper, the warmth from the ‘used’ internal air being exhausted and transferring it to the cooler fresh incoming air. By blending the incoming air, the low energy fan ensures an even distribution of airflow, with control over temperature and CO2 levels within.

The opening of the Lotus School in Blackpool is a first in more ways than one. It is the first purpose-built social environmental mental health school in the area. The £4.5m project is also the first in the area to be fitted with the first COVID-compliant hybrid ventilation.

The £4.5m project, funded by the Department of Education’s Free Schools Funds for Special Education Provision, was commissioned through self-delivery by Blackpool Local Educational Partnership and Eric Wright Special Projects, to achieve better value than arranging out-of-area transport for pupils who need special educational support. The Lotus School can accommodate up to 48 pupils with specific needs, with a mix of main classrooms, a science laboratory, feed technology lab, art & design rooms, sports/main hall and sensory rooms, as well as a life skills flat.

The main teaching classrooms and sports hall are all aired using Gilberts (Blackpool) Ltd’s innovative MFS hybrid ventilation units, installed by Read & Errington. In total, 24no MFS 128 units have been fitted through the two-storey façade into the classrooms, with a further three MFS-V roof-mounted units to the sports/main hall.

In addition to being the first stand-alone hybrid ventilation system designed, developed and manufactured in Britain (co-incidentally just up the road from Lotus School), Gilberts’ MFS is also the first of its type to be COVID-compliant as standard.

Since its launch, MFS has become the product of choice for ventilation in schools, combining natural ventilation with a heat exchanger to minimise energy wastage by extracting, via a low energy fan and mixing damper, the warmth from the ‘used’ internal air being exhausted and transferring it to the cooler fresh incoming air. By blending the incoming air, the low energy fan ensures an even distribution of airflow, with control over temperature and CO2 levels within, and maintenance of a comfortable internal environment for occupants.

MFS delivers 8l/s ventilation, exceeding as standard Government COVID requirements of 5l/s. As it is a stand-alone unit with no connections to other zones within the building, cross-contamination risk is almost eliminated.

Each unit also achieves relevant modulation (often a consideration for pupils with special needs): its operational ‘noise’ is less than 30dbA, and it has been engineered to absorb external noise to keep within the classroom criteria required by Department of Education Building Bulletin.

MFS-V incorporates two MFS128 units placed vertically into a rooftop penthouse turret, with a shaft up to 1500mm2 ensuring effective ‘stand-alone’ ventilation of the space below. No additional ducting or plant is required. By routing the ventilation through the roof then internal spaces that have no external façade or that have a large open floor area can still be efficiently ventilated, be it via natural or hybrid principles.

Stephen Knowles, head of special projects at Eric Wright, observed, “As a commercially focussed business with a social purpose, involvement in the Lotus School was especially important to Eric Wright, as it means local children with special educational needs can be taught in their home town, in a safe, stable environment. We were also keen to use local suppliers as far as possible. That Gilberts is based in Blackpool, and had developed market-leading ventilation technology, it was logical to use its products and expertise on this project.”

 

Ful details of Gilberts’ MFS system can be found here:

Alternatively, CLICK HERE to email

or telephone 01253 766911.

 

Harlaw Academy, Aberdeen (Image: Google)

Hundreds of pupils and staff have been evacuated from a Scotish school after gas was found in the building.

#gasleak #schoolbuilding #scotland

All kids and teachers from the 950-capacity Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen were taken from the school on Wednesday after the find.

Parents of pupils at the Victorian-era school were texted by education bosses warning that ‘trace amounts’ of gas had been found.

A council spokesman confirmed that the school had been closed as gas had been detected, it is hoped the closure would be temporary.

On social media a text apparently from school bosses to parents was shared locally.

It read: “This morning trace amounts of gas have been found at Harlaw Academy.

“The gas supply was isolated immediately and the school was safely evacuated.

“We are awaiting a safety inspection by the gas board and the school building cannot be in use until the inspection is completed.”

A later text said: “We have taken the decision to close Harlaw Academy for the day and send pupils home.

“This will be done at 11.30am and processes will be in place to assist pupils who need.

“We will send an update to parents as soon as this is available.”

 

 

Local councillor Martin Greig said the situation could have been ‘catastrophic’.

He said: “The gas problem is really worrying and it is reassuring that this was detected quickly and the building evacuated without delay.

“The pupils have already experienced a lot of disruption because of having to cope with the pandemic.

“Hopefully this fault will be identified and a permanent fix will be made.

“This kind of situation is potentially harmful and even catastrophic. It is an old building and it needs to be constantly monitored and maintained to keep the school community safe”

A city council spokesman said: “This morning trace amounts of gas were found in Harlaw Academy this morning.

“The gas supply was isolated immediately and the school was safely evacuated.

“We are awaiting a safety inspection by the Gas Board, and the school building cannot be in use until the inspection has been completed.

“As the safety of our pupils is of paramount importance we took the decision to close Harlaw Academy at 11am for the day and send them home.

 

Source: Daily Record

 

Adveco

 

  • A range of compact commercial semi-instantaneous gas condensing water heaters
  • Perfect for applications requiring direct contact with soft, softened and chlorinated water
  • Highly efficient modular design offers continuity of service in one appliance

 

Commercial hot water and heating specialist Adveco, announces the AD range. A new generation of sleekly designed, modulating commercial floor-standing gas condensing water heaters to be used with a buffer for high demand semi-instantaneous hot water applications in sports & leisure centres, hotels, spas, schools, stadia, and large commercial buildings.

Bill Sinclair, technical director, Adveco said, “The titanium-stabilised stainless-steel construction of the AD range’s heat exchangers is the perfect response to counter the concerns of corrosion in soft, or softened water applications. Compact, lightweight yet still powerful, the AD’s patented space-saving design makes it equally applicable to both new projects or renovation work where a lack of space would traditionally stall or quickly drive up costs of a project.”

With each water heater composed of one to four 70 kW heat exchangers, the AD range offers appliances from 70kW up to 280 kW. This approach optimises the supplied output (up to 160 litres/minute) ensuring maximum efficiency when providing DHW. Models with multiple integrated heat exchangers offer load balancing for optimal long-life operation and inbuilt redundancy guaranteeing continuity of service.

Tough and efficient, AD water heaters are all equipped with premix burners made of Fecralloy metal fibre for large modulation range with excellent functionality at extremely high temperatures. Using a premix burner ensures the AD requires less gas, making it more cost-effective, plus reducing harmful NOX and CO emissions. The AD’s heat exchangers will also work in direct contact with chlorinated mains water.

The AD range can be configured to operate in a cascade of up to eight water heaters. The AD’s controller provides full temperature control and self-check maintenance functions. The controller also accommodates 0-10 input, MODBUS communication, and alarm output for seamless system integration.

Additional information

  • Five-year warranty on AISI 316Ti heat exchangers
  • Compact floor standing arrangement: AD 70T & AD140T H1180 x W600 x D945mm / AD210T & AD280T M1880 x W600 x D896mm
  • High maximum run pressure up to 11 bar
  • Low emissions, built with Class 6 technology for NOₓ at 27 mg/kWh GCV
  • Available for natural gas or LPG
  • Acid condensate neutraliser included
  • Ideal for soft water applications. Hard water areas over 150ppm require use of a water softener down to 100ppm.
  • Supports standard flue systems using low cost 110-160 mm diameter PP

Adveco – Expertly engineered for you. Visit www.adveco.co

Hot water and heating specialist Adveco, offers educational facilities with large hot water demands but space limitations a complete, highly-efficient, low carbon resolution with its Packaged e-Hot Water System.

This prefabricated all-electric water heating system brings together Adveco’s FPi-9 Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP), an Adveco 200L GLC indirect preheat tank, and Adveco 200L GLE direct electric water heater to provide reliable high-temperature water in a convenient, packaged system housed in a compact GRP housing.

Bill Sinclair, technical director, Adveco says, “The Packaged e-Hot Water System leverages all the advantages of off-site construction to provide a standardised, resilient, environmentally friendly, low carbon, hot water system that helps reduce both a school building’s energy consumption and operational costs across its lifetime.”

Adveco’s Packaged e-Hot Water System is ideal for new build projects or refurbishment where space is at a premium. The system makes particular use of the FPi-9 ASHP to provide the system preheat from 10°C to 50°C, supplying 70% of the DHW load.

Offsetting 70% of the energy requirement means the Packaged e-Hot Water System can demonstrate a 47% reduction in energy demands and CO² emissions for the same output of 500,000 litres of hot water each year when compared with a similar direct electric-only system. The reduced energy demand also means operational savings can be added to the capital savings secured during the design, supply, and installation phases.

A completely new specification that lowers the heat intensity, without detrimental effect to the demands for hot water, means the Packaged e-Hot Water System is also more resistant to scale, reducing maintenance demands. Should the lead heat source ever fail, the system incorporates an additional emergency backup 6kW immersion heater to provide resilience and surety of hot water.

www.adveco.co

Ventilation systems supplier Vortice has launched the DePuro Pro plug and play air purifier specifically developed with double filtration to reduce the number of particles in the air such as bacteria, micro-organisms and viruses.  Designed for all kinds of spaces such as care homes, offices, hotels, universities and the health sector, this is clearly of huge interest as we fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The DePuro Pro is available in two sizes and comes with HEPA 14 absolute filters, capable of retaining up to 99.995% of microparticles (equivalent diameter 0.3µm) which require periodic replacement, highlighted by the filter status indicator on the control panel.  The DePuro Pro 150 is suitable for rooms up to 50 metres square and the DePuro Pro 300 is suitable for rooms up to 100 metres square.  This new product is highly energy efficient, is easy to handle and has sound absorbing panels making it almost silent to operate.

 

https://www.vortice.ltd.uk/shop/commercial-ventilation/depuro-pro/depuropro300/

Ventilation systems which extract are more effective at removing pathogens than an air circulation system.  Furthermore, ventilation systems where the extract vent is in the ceiling divert infectious germs away from individuals thus preventing dispersion into the room.

Vectaire’s Studio and Mini (MVHRs) have been specifically designed for student accommodation, one and two-bedroom apartments, care homes, and hotel rooms.  They run continuously to extract polluted air and replace it with fresh filtered and tempered air.  They are energy efficient, environmentally friendly and economical to run.

They have multiple choice trickle speeds, up to 83% heat exchange efficiency, an integral frost-stat and automatic summer bypass.  They can be set-up using an LCD screen commissioning kit and help to control condensation and pollution giving a comfortable, safe environment in which to live.  They are SAP PCDB listed.

 

www.vectaire.co.uk