School Ventilation Improvement Measures

School Ventilation Improvement Measures
Posted on 10/13/2022
School Ventilation Strategy

Implementing the Ministry of Education’s ventilation strategy is one way we are supporting healthy and safe learning environments. 

Take a look at some of the ways we are optimizing indoor air quality in our schools: 

  • All schools have FULL MECHANICAL VENTILATION and FILTRATION - this is the best way to ventilate our schools and classrooms. 

  • We use MERV13 filters in our mechanical ventilation systems.

Assurance: All schools have mechanical ventilation systems. Overall system capability and function was confirmed through a re‐commissioning project including air balancing for all SMCDSB HVAC systems in 2021. All critical repairs are completed to ensure optimal ventilation.

Enhancement: Work continues to enhance system reliability and resiliency through preventive maintenance. Third re‐commissioning in 2020‐ 2021. Through 2021 and 2022, eighteen investment projects at various facilities (16 schools and 2 board office locations) consisting of HVAC equipment replacements and window replacements have been completed.

Monitoring & Response: Monitoring of building mechanical ventilation through sophisticated automation systems to ensure optimal airflow for all spaces and to proactively respond to ventilation challenges. Air Purification(HEPA) Units have been purchased through Provincial funding and have been installed in all Kindergarten classrooms and isolation areas; a contingency inventory of units will be available for responding to ventilation outages.

Operating & Maintenance Practices: Routine preventive maintenance activities are ongoing. As part of the daily startup procedure, operating inspections are conducted by Custodial Services to confirm operation of system units and verification of alarms/anomalies; these provide an additional means of proactive response. Consistent with updated American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air‐Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidance, MERV13 filters continue to be used in all SMCDSB facilities and ventilation systems will run in occupied settings for 2 hours prior to first scheduled occupant and returns to setback operation at the end of the occupied (school) day.

Details about the SMCDSB ventilation profile are outlined in the report linked here: