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On the Development of Health-Based Ventilation Guidelines: Principles and Framework
Open AccessArticle

Effects of Ventilation Improvement on Measured and Perceived Indoor Air Quality in a School Building with a Hybrid Ventilation System

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto University, Rakentajanaukio 4, 02150 Espoo, Finland
2
Department of Microbiology, University of Szeged, Közép fasor 52, H-6726 Szeged, Hungary
3
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071414
Received: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality and Health)
Ventilation system design and operation may significantly affect indoor air quality (IAQ). The aims of this case study were to investigate the functionality of a supply air fan-assisted hybrid ventilation system in a newly built school building with reported IAQ problems and to determine the effects of ventilation improvement on measured and perceived IAQ. The ventilation system function was researched simultaneously with IAQ measurements, with an analysis of total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), single volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and indoor mycobiota, and with questionnaires about perceived IAQ. At the baseline, an operational error of the ventilation system was found, which prevented the air from coming into the classrooms, except for short periods of high carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. After the ventilation operation was improved, a significant change in indoor mycobiota was found; the dominant, opportunistic human pathogenic species Trichoderma citrinoviride found in settled dust in the classroom before the improvement was no longer detected. In addition, the concentrations of CO2, TVOC, and some single VOCs, especially toluene and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, decreased. The analysis of the questionnaire results indicated that the perceptions of unpleasant odors and stuffy air decreased, although a statistically significant improvement in perceived IAQ was not observed. The results provided evidence that the properly controlled hybrid ventilation system operating in mechanical supply mode provided adequate ventilation and was effective in decreasing the concentrations of some indoor-generated pollutants. With simple ventilation adjustments, microbiological exposure from building structures might be prevented. View Full-Text
Keywords: ventilation; hybrid ventilation; indoor air quality; mycobiota; indoor air questionnaire; school building; Trichoderma citrinoviride ventilation; hybrid ventilation; indoor air quality; mycobiota; indoor air questionnaire; school building; Trichoderma citrinoviride
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Vornanen-Winqvist, C.; Salonen, H.; Järvi, K.; Andersson, M.A.; Mikkola, R.; Marik, T.; Kredics, L.; Kurnitski, J. Effects of Ventilation Improvement on Measured and Perceived Indoor Air Quality in a School Building with a Hybrid Ventilation System. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1414.

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