A breath of fresh air
Many schools face the age-old problem of pupils either falling asleep in lessons or having continuous bouts of poor concentration and new School Building Bulletins require innovative solutions to this problem. Haydon Wick Primary however has found a solution with the installation of an oXygen air refreshment system from Jaga Heating Products to provide good air quality and safe heating.
The construction of a new classroom block at the school provided the opportunity to banish the stereotypical stuffy classroom for ever, and to ensure that the 290 pupils aged between four and eleven were able to operate in a healthy, well ventilated and energy efficient environment, and to perform at their best even in the traditional afternoon graveyard shift. The oXygen system was specified by Swindon Borough Council to provide the new three class extension to the school with comfortable, safe heating and fresh air. This would eradicate problems caused by the inadequate temperature control and poor ventilation of old, traditional steel panel radiators and open windows.
Once installed, Mr Fullam, the head teacher at Haydon Wick, commented: “Using the oXygen system means that we can get the best out of everyone throughout the day. Add that to the energy efficiency benefits and pretty soon we will be providing a better, healthier environment as well as saving money that can be put towards other areas of the school”.
Jaga’s low water content (Low-H20) Maxi LST radiators, incorporating Jaga oXygen units, were installed in the classrooms. The small fans within the units introduce fresh air from outside, and pre-heat it during winter. A sensor in each room measures if the carbon dioxide levels are too high, which occurs when more pupils enter the classroom or activity increases. An exhaust system in the roof then removes exactly the right quantity of stale air which otherwise would leave pupils susceptible to headaches and feelings of lethargy or even nausea. The active CO2 sensor system allows fans to operate only when there is a need for fresh air, preventing the system from over-ventilating and wasting money.
Testing has been carried out with the Building Research Establishment to show that Jaga Low-H20 radiators can deliver a 10% energy saving compared to using steel panel radiators. Certified independent testing in Holland has demonstrated that when used in conjunction with a balanced oXygen air refreshment system savings can rise to 20%, compared with uncontrolled natural ventilation. This is achieved by the oXygen system limiting air changes to the volume of air strictly necessary to maintain air quality and less heating output being required as a result.
The whole oXygen system is controlled through easy to use management software, making it very simple for Haydon Wick to adjust settings as needed. The system can also be operated and monitored remotely, through a secure internet connection. The air quality in the three classrooms can be monitored at any time. On a typical school day the average CO2 level starts at around 600 parts per million (ppm). By around 9.45am CO2 levels have risen to just below 800ppm. As the morning continues the CO2 levels rise further up to, and if uncontrolled well beyond, 1200ppm. The oXygen system recognises this and stale air is extracted and replaced with fresh air at whatever level is required to ensure good air quality. As a result the CO2 levels drop. When pupils leave the classrooms at lunchtime CO2 levels drop further to around 500ppm. The oXygen system recognises this and reduces the air refresh rate while the classroom is unoccupied, thereby reducing the heating requirement and saving money. Later in the afternoon as pupils tend to get sleepy and CO2 levels rise again the intake of fresh air will increase to compensate and the stale air will be extracted.
“In line with regulations that now require school buildings to control carbon dioxide levels, the installation of the Jaga oXygen allows Haydon Wick to continually monitor and be in control of their CO2 levels creating a perfectly balanced environment”, commented Ian Bridge, Principal Mechanical and Building Services Engineer of Swindon Borough Council.