Good Practices

University of the Basque Classroom 2.1

The 3SqAir project is a multi-partner and cross-border project. Its main goal is to design a “Smart” and “Sustainable” action plan, to ensure, through a common quality approach, the indoor air quality of French, Spanish and Portuguese educational buildings.

  • The Deliverable 3.1.2-Best Practices guidelines and criteria indicators for better Indoor Air Quality in classrooms – was developed within the scope of the Activity 3.1of the project 3SqAir. The objective of this technical report is to define and present feedback on a remarkable indoor air quality (IAQ) management operation, through a reference framework of IAQ criteria in order to assess the inclusion of IAQ in school buildings.

    This reference framework was established as part of the task 3.1.2 of the 3SQAIR project, the deliverable of which can be downloaded from the project website

    The approach has a dual objective:
    – Improve stakeholder knowledge on how to manage IAQ in their own buildings.
    – Propose a common methodology for comparative studies on “best practice” case studies.

  • The objective of the 3SQAIR project is to define RIS31 strategies to improve indoor air quality IAQ in classrooms. One of the levers to achieve this objective is to share best practices (BP) with all stakeholders in order to enhance their knowledge, and consequently, their practices. To this end, we propose to identify the major action criteria to help stakeholders to improve IAQ in educational buildings.

    Our work consisted in drawing up a first state of the art of methodologies for assessing the IAQ in educational buildings. This first analysis made it possible to identify a list of IAQ improvement levers considering technical and organizational. And, we propose a simplified methodology assessing a synthesis profile of the IAQ for feedback from operations.

    In fact, the characterization of IAQ has many components, themselves linked to the complexity of the life cycle of a building. Such an analysis must be holistic because the IAQ of a classroom also depends on organizational aspects (maintenance and management of real estate), sociological (behavior and comfort of the occupants), economic (available resources) and even political considerations (exemplary public policies for contractors).

    We propose a baseline to define common criteria for promoting best practices in IAQ in classrooms, which also lays down common guideline settings for smart, sustainable and energy efficient IAQ solutions. Through a selective bibliographic study and an in-depth presentation of the modeling of IAQ pollutants, we have identified 10 major indicators for the inclusion of IAQ, classified into 2 areas:

    1. Building Facilities: “Technical Solutions On Iaq And Ventilation”

    a) Pollutant sources
    b) Intake and exhausts
    c) Filtration
    d) Air renewal systems
    e) Air purification

    2. Stakeholders Organization: “Management”

    f) Cost
    g) Occupants’ comfort and behavior
    h) Communication and quality management systems
    i) Maintenance
    j) Sustainability (environmental impact & energy efficient strategies)

    This report offers a common reference simplified methodology to establish comparative studies on IAQ in educational buildings. This methodology constitutes a basis for the practical resource (best practices experience feedback case studies) for stakeholders that have to be produced within the 3SqAir project, through the eponymous online platform website. It will be used to build an analysis framework for the 12 operations that are the subject of experience feedback as part of task 3.2.1 of the 3SQAIR project.

  • Figure 1. Situation of University of the Basque
  • A) Pollutant sources:

    The Outdoor Environmental Zone

    Urban area
    Rural area
    Industrial area nearby
    Nearest gas station (less than 1km)
    Commercial zone
    Parking lot
    Presence of electromagnetic waves

    The Indoor Environmental Zone

    Luminaire type: Led
    Heating method: Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery VHR with post-heating and cooling battery + fan coils with water tank
    Wall and floor coverings:
    Wall: painted pladur and glass
    Floor: phenolic raised floor

    B) Intake and exhausts:

    Within the classroom, there are 8 circular fan coil grilles with a diameter of 60 cm for heating and cooling purposes, as well as 4 heat recovery ventilation grilles sized at 60x60cm, without flow regulators. The intake and exhaust systems don’t self-adjust, but the humidity-controlled air inlets and outlets are equipped with sensors for both humidity and temperature within the heat recovery units. The windows can be opened, although they are limited in order to maintain the energy efficiency of the building.

    C) Filtration:

    D) Air renewal systems:

    E) Air purification:

    On this demo-site there are no air purification system.

  • The building management is done by the maintenance person of the building, and there is a external provider for the specific maintenance of each machine. BMS – Used by the responsible for maintenance and energy management of the building. Regin (software)

    F) Cost

    G) Occupants’ comfort and behavior

    H) Communication and quality management systems

    No elements

    I) Maintenance

  • This work proposes a methodology for evaluating the IAQ in educational buildings. Through a deliberately simplified approach, we have defined a baseline based on two domains describing the building’s facilities and the organization of the whole stakeholder chain actors.

    A summary of the multi-criteria analysis for this operation is presented in the form of a radar made up of the 10 benchmark indicators, established in task 3.1.2 of the 3SqAir project.

    We have previously indicated that this type of analysis requires a transversal (holistic) approach, since all these criteria are interconnected and influence each other. In order to determine the relevance of taking into account the IAQ of a building, we propose to carry out a two-step approach:

    1)First, an analytical approach:  characterization of each of the 10 criteria separately, through a qualitative or quantitative approach;

    2)Secondly, a global synthesis, through a graphic representation in the form of a « 3SqAir profile », with a radar representation, according to the a “basic” or “thorough” rating scale (see below, an example of fictive radars on the basis of a 1-5 scale, with a representation mode).

    This result was established after a collective analysis of all operations, during the workshop held in Coimbra (Portugal) on 08/11/2022. During this workshop, the partners presented the 12 feedbacks and voted collectively to define the level of performance for each criterion and establish the corresponding radar profile.