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Should schools located in polluted areas be naturally ventilated? : A case study from Chile
Christopher Cáceres-Araya

Date: 2014-09-19 11:20 AM – 11:30 AM
Last modified: 2014-09-18


This paper presents the results of a research on the influence of external pollution on the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of classrooms naturally ventilated. The study was performed in a private school in Rancagua, a city located in Chile that has high levels of air pollution, especially during school time. The methodology included a combination of on-site monitoring, an occupant survey and a set of simulations carried out in CONTAM, a validated multi-zone airflow and contaminant transport model. The classrooms were simulated under various scenarios of outdoor pollution (PM 10 and PM 2.5) and ventilation rates. Results show that classrooms were highly affected by external contaminants and that penetration of outdoor pollutants occurred even with very low ventilation rates such as those provided purely by infiltration. The use of natural ventilation may not help to maintain adequate IAQ in schools if they are located in areas with high levels of external pollution and may affect, in a long-term, the health of children.