For the last few months, the 74 preschoolers at the kindergarten De Linde in Zarren have been able to enjoy cleaner air in their school environment. Following the renovation of the boiler room, the municipality decided to also work on better indoor air quality in the school.
In most schools, the quality of the indoor air is much worse than the quality of the outdoor air: this is firstly due to substances that are released from cleaning products, wall paint, new furniture, etc. and secondly due to excessively high CO2 levels because the classrooms are not well ventilated.
Children are more sensitive than adults to harmful substances that they breathe, and a poor indoor climate can lead to irritability, fatigue and an increase in allergies and infectious diseases.
With renovations, it is not easy to integrate a 'classic' D ventilation system with ducts into an existing building: first and foremost, a place must be found for the air handling unit (usually the roof is chosen) and then ducts have to be routed through the entire building. This means that the entire building must be gutted and that the pupils must be accommodated elsewhere because the classrooms are unusable for a long period of time.
This is an expensive undertaking and is usually impracticable.
The engineering firm and the municipality therefore decided to opt for the decentralised ventilation units from Airmaster. These Danish-made units are designed to be placed in the room itself and do not require major structural changes to the building.
Airmaster also offers an extensive range of ventilation units that can either be wall-mounted or placed on the floor. The maximum capacity ranges from 147 m3/h to 1300 m3/h, so there is a solution available for both large and small spaces.
In Zarren, different types of space needed to be ventilated, so different models were installed:
In the gym, 2 Airmaster units, each with a capacity of 550 m3/h, were mounted in the structure on the ceiling.
Units with the same capacity were installed in the classrooms, but these were 2/3 or 1/3 integrated into the false ceiling so that the units are less prominent in the room.
An AM 150 ventilation unit with a maximum capacity of 147 m3/h was installed in the care room.
All of these ventilation units supply fresh air and extract contaminated air via the wall.
Only in the dining room was an AM 900 cabinet model with roof duct installed.
The ventilation units are very well insulated on the inside, which means that the noise level is very low. Even when the units are running at maximum capacity, they are barely audible.
Nathalie Duquesne from Airmaster came to take a CO2 reading in the class taught by Claudia, where around 15 preschoolers are present every day and the results were amazing: the CO2 levels remained below 900 ppm throughout the school day, which means that the ventilation unit is ensuring optimum air quality!
To guarantee optimum air quality and low electrical consumption, a CO2 sensor has been incorporated into each unit. This means that the units 'tailor' the ventilation, in other words adjust it according to the occupancy of the rooms. (Demand-controlled ventilation).
Since the heating is controlled via the Priva building control system, the ventilation units were also connected to this system.
The director, Jeroen Tolpe, can now control and manage all the technology in his building centrally, which is an enormous time saving for him.
Another advantage of the decentralised ventilation system is the simple and affordable maintenance: the technical service of the municipality only needs to replace the filters twice per school year.
As there are no ducts, these do not have to be cleaned by a specialist company – which is a very expensive business.