A growing body of evidence suggests that teacher productivity and student learning, as measured by absenteeism, may be affected by indoor air quality as well.
Indoor pollutants and allergens from house dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, and rodents also contribute to increased respiratory and asthma symptoms among children and adults.
The reduction of pollutant loads, both sensory and not, has been shown to reduce the occurrence of building-associated symptoms and to improve the health and comfort of people occupying the buildings.
Although compliance with the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for ventilation rates may be the minimal acceptable standard for green schools, there is good evidence that increasing the ventilation rate beyond the ASHRAE standard will further improve comfort and productivity. However, an upper limit on the ventilation rates, indicating when the benefits of outside air begin to decline, has not been established.
The committee will address additional issues related to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems and their associations with health and productivity in its final report. Until this review is completed and the results are synthesized, the committee will defer making specific recommendations.