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Fresh air increases student performance

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Our children spend most of their day in a classroom where learning is the primary focus. As the Harvard Schools for Health article highlights, "school is the place where children spend most of their time outside the home". 1 Because of this, it is vital that classrooms provide optimal conditions for sustained concentration and environmental attributes that engenders the ability to acquire new knowledge. Many classrooms in the U.S. hinder learning due to various factors such as high noise levels from fans, overheated rooms, and inadequate ventilation, leaving students with stuffy and unhealthy air. Research suggests that low ventilation rates in U.S. schools have adverse health effects, which are detrimental to educational outcomes and performance of more than 50 million school children. 2 A poor indoor climate can result in 15% reduced performance, which is similar to one extra year seen over a child's entire educational period. As concluded by several studies, the potential benefits associated with natural- and hybrid ventilation are numerous and the advantages are related to health as well as performance: Natural ventilation in schools · Reducing indoor temperature from 77°F to 68°F increased student performance by 18% (numerical and language based tasks). 3 · Doubling the ventilation rates from 11 to 20.3 cfm increased student speed by 15% (numerical tasks). 4 · Per 1000 ppm increase between the indoor and outdoor CO 2 concentration, correlated with a 10-20% relative increase in student absence. 5 · Students in classrooms with the largest window areas were 15% faster in math and 23% in reading than those with the least. 6 · Students in classrooms where windows could be opened were found to progress 7-8% faster than those with fixed windows. (This occurred regardless of whether the classroom also had air conditioning or not) 6 · 3.2% reduced absenteeism for building with operable windows and natural ventilation as opposed to sealed building with air conditioning 7 · 65% reduction in Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms by utilizing natural or mixed mode ventilation 8

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