University Campuses

The EPA has ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health causing skin and eye irritation, allergies and asthma attacks. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studies indicate increased ventilation rates are associated with higher student performance in reading and math as well as reduced health risks. After wages the biggest expense universities face is inefficient HVAC systems. Studies have shown a potential energy cost savings of as much as 25% by improving/upgrading systems and a consistent maintenance program. We recommend the following upgrades for improving overall indoor air quality:

  • To ensure clean airstreams follow current ASHRAE guidelines for filtration systems
  • Disable demand-controlled ventilation and open outside air dampers 100% to increase the flow of outdoor air ventilation
  • Review the amount of air changes throughout the facility. Air change rates have been set at one to two changes per hour. ASHRAE is suggesting setting changes to 4-8 times per hour will greatly improve indoor air quality
  • Install a UV-C system to disinfect the indoor air. In-duct systems are a good choice for retrofitting

Every university is different so there is no single decision that fits everyone. A well-designed HVAC system maintains space temperature and humidity conditions as well as outdoor air amounts economically.