School Ventilation Measures Report
School boards are optimizing air quality in schools through improved ventilation and filtration. Implemented measures are dependent on the type of ventilation and feasibility within the context of school facilities and related building systems. This is a key element in the multiple protective strategies being employed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and support healthier and safe learning environments for students and staff.
Measures to Help Reduce Transmission Risk in Indoor Settings
Increasing the flow of outdoor/fresh air for diluting the concentration of any infectious particles.
Involves the use of different types of fibrous media designed to remove particles from the airstream.
Increased fresh air in schools by running ventilation equipment longer (pre and post occupancy air flushing), disabling energy recovery and efficiency technologies, and opening windows.
Upgraded all mechanical filtration to MERV-13 filters and changing every two months.
Install stand alone HEPA air purification devices in classrooms and other spaces that have limited pre-existing mechanical ventilation.
Upgraded mechanical ventilation systems in classrooms, gymnasiums, libraries, and portables using funding from
, school renewal, school condition improvement, and other board resources.
2022-23 School Year
Planned ventilation projects
Ventilation projects in progress/planned
Schools receiving an investment,
which is 12% of total schools
With an inventory of more than 7M square feet, we always have equipment approaching end of life or experiencing a premature breakdown that we respond to as required.
Yes, the HDSB has upgraded existing school’s HVAC systems as part of our regular renewal plan over several years.
Yes, the HDSB deployed more than 1,500 HEPA air filtration units (as of January 2021) and has upgraded HVAC equipment filters with new MERV-13 filters to meet ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force guidelines.
The HDSB has dedicated significant resources to ensure the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force recommendations for air changes are being met and/or exceeded. Indoor Air Quality is very complex and there is no single test to determine quality.
Yes, the HDSB requires classroom staff to open windows in some of our older schools where we have exhaust fan ventilation and operable windows. During colder weather periods, staff open windows each hour for several minutes. The HDSB is working to ensure recommended air changes are being met without having to require staff to open windows.
All but a few classrooms have operable windows. When needed we have brought in HEPA filtration units into classrooms where existing systems do not meet the ASHRAE recommendations.
We have leveraged Ministry funding to support ventilation enhancements across the region. We have also continued to invest operating, maintenance, and capital dollars into improvements as part of our regular maintenance and capital.
HVAC equipment filters are replaced every two months at HDSB facilities with MERV-13 filters.