A 2020 U.S. Government Accountability Office study found that almost 36,000 American schools needed to update or replace their heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems. This statistic – which in itself is staggering – doesn’t take into account potential updates needed to improve indoor air quality in schools and help to prevent reduce the spread of infectious aerosols as outlined by the CDC or ASHRAE.
Creating safer and healthier environments for learning starts with improved indoor air quality and the ability to monitor compliance to regulations like social distancing. School administrators and building managers face a difficult task: enhancing, fixing or outright replacing antiquated systems, without draining already tight budgets.
We all want to see schools fully reopen and we know it must be done safely. Technology throughout a school and its buildings can be optimized updated to comply with evolving industry regulations and guidelines. Fortunately, help is available. Beyond the CARES Act, the federal government has approved nearly $177 billion in relief funds to improve and maintain air quality and safety in K-12 schools.
We can help schools identify which infrastructure improvements may qualify for the available federal funding. School leaders and facility teams should consider the following:
Improve Air Filtration, Detect And Remove Contaminants: Controlling bacteria, pollen, pollutants and other contaminants can be done with proper filtration, and the Honeywell HEPA Portable Air Purifier is a perfect place to start toward creating a healthier environment for your occupants.
Electronic air cleaners help remove particles before they circulate throughout your facility. Using Honeywell UV-C Technology at the HVAC coils can deactivate biological contaminants growing on cooling coils and help mitigate the spread to the school building.
Manage Air Flow: Proper air exchange can dispel odors, chemicals and CO2, while balancing energy use and reducing disease transmission. Actuators and economizers can bring in the right amount of fresh air based on environmental conditions to help schools meet building regulations.
Balance Humidity: High humidity levels can promote the growth of bacteria and mold and create an environment where dust mites can thrive. Lower humidity creates other concerns like dry, itchy skin, transmission of viruses and irritation of the upper respiratory system. Humidity sensors can help manage and maintain optimal humidity levels for your school.
Use Thermal Screening To Support New Health Protocols: Reducing potential exposure is critical to continuity in-person learning. Thermal camera technology can be used to measure surface skin temperature and identify someone who may require further screening. Minimize potential exposure to students, staff and visitors by pre-screening for elevated skin temperatures at entrances and control access based on specific parameters.
Monitor Compliance: Wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance is important, and so is monitoring the flow of people. Integrated security solutions with video surveillance and advanced video analytics can help manage the flow, count of building occupants and identify compliance with regulations like mask wearing and social distancing.
Create A Frictionless Experience: Frictionless access helps reduce contact with frequently touched surfaces. With technologies such as AI, Bluetooth and passive infrared sensors, schools can create an access control system that is both secure and reduces contact with building surfaces.
Request A Free Indoor Air Quality Assesment: Honeywell can help you bring back students and staff with confidence. Start with a free assessment to measure the effectiveness of your school’s indoor air quality. Our experts can help navigate access to funding to help implement improvements.