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According to the US General Accounting Office, 14 million students (over a quarter of all students) attend schools considered below standard or dangerous and almost two-thirds of schools have building features such as air conditioning that are in need of extensive repair or replacement.

This statistic does not include schools with less obvious but important health related problems such as inadequate ventilation. A recently published document by the American Federation of Teachers notes that the General Accounting Office found that the air is unfit to breathe in nearly 15 thousand schools.

Poor health and study conditions in schools are of particular concern for a number of reasons, including:

  • There are some 60 million students, faculty and staff in schools.

  • The large majority of schools are built not to optimize health and comfort, but rather to achieve a minimum required level of design performance at lowest cost.

  • Few states regulate indoor air quality in schools or provide for minimum ventilation standards.

  • Almost no schools are designed with the specific objective of creating healthy and productive study and learning environments.

  • Chronic shortage of funds in schools means that schools typically suffer from inadequate maintenance, and experience degradation of basic systems such as ventilation, air quality and lighting quality, as well as poor control over pollutants (e.g. from cleaning materials).
  • Students and faculty typically spend 85% to 90% of their time indoors (mostly at home and at school), and the concentration of pollutants indoors is typically higher than outdoors, sometimes by as much as 10 or even 100 times.
  • Children are growing, their organs are developing, and they breathe more air relative to their body size than adults, and as a result sustain greater health problems and risks than adults from toxins and pollutants common in schools.

Highlights

  • High CRI 85+
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Healthier work environment

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