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Improving Indoor Air Quality = Keeping Students + Staff in School

August 15, 2022 1 min read
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Bright classroom with round tables and yellow chairs for young students

By the time a student graduates from high school, they will have spent an estimated 15,600 hours in a school building. We know the built environment directly impacts a student’s ability to learn and perform – demonstrating the need for improved indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in school facilities. IEQ encompasses acoustics, air quality, light, aesthetics, temperature and more. Let’s take a closer look at improving indoor air quality (IAQ).

According to the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, we know that schools are chronically underventilated and improving IAQ is essential to students’ health and well-being.

A recent NY Times piece published by Dr. Joseph Allen, a public health scientist, highlights ways to keep kids in school this fall and beyond.

“Ventilation and filtration should continue to be key focuses. These measures operate in the background and don’t require behavior changes, and they provide multiple benefits beyond preventing the spread of Covid. We should think of this as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address decades of school infrastructure neglect.”


The recent Clean Air in Buildings Challenge presented by the White House and EPA has also placed a priority on ways to improve IAQ. Air filtration with recommended MERV 13 filters or air disinfection with UV-C air cleaning technology will purify the air. The Armstrong Ceiling 24/7 Defend portfolio of air purification products offer both of these purification options.

When considering school facility improvements and improving the air quality, you can start by looking up. The ceiling is an ideal place to retrofit or install air purification technology. When air cleaning technology is installed in the ceiling, it eliminates the tripping hazards and lost floor space from portable air purification units. The unobtrusive, in-ceiling air purification technology also draws the air up and away from kids sitting at their desks and then recirculates clean air back into the room.

Improving indoor air quality by purifying the air will not only remove viruses from the air, but it will also contribute to healthier spaces by minimizing allergy and asthma triggers. Now is the time to focus on improving school facilities and creating healthy buildings with improved indoor air quality for students and staff.