COVID-19 crisis shows poor school design, say experts

The re-opening of schools has shown how poorly most schools are ventilated, experts have warned.

Attempts to limit the spread of COVID-19 among school children has exposed weaknesses in school ventilation design. Government advice has been to maximise fresh air into classrooms to reduce the risk of infection. But school leaders say building design has focused on limited window openings and cost-focused HVAC systems.

Prof Azeem Majeed, head of department, primary care and public health, Imperial College London, backed schools’ concerns.

“More modern buildings commonly use heating and ventilation systems that create a mixture of fresh and re-circulated air. But sadly, such systems are often not present in England’s schools.”


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