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Improving Air Quality in Your Community

Indoor Air: Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in Schools

You can help school systems improve indoor air quality within schools that may impact students and staff by conducting the following activities:

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Sponsor Awareness Activities

      How?
  • Develop school indoor air quality (IAQ) materials such as brochures, posters, and pamphlets that can be distributed to schools and used at school IAQ awareness events.
  • Establish an IAQ in Schools information table at various locations such as libraries, community centers, government buildings, school administration buildings, and within schools.
  • Maintain an IAQ in Schools booth at community and school events such as fairs, parent-teacher association functions, and parent-teacher conference days.
  • Have an IAQ in Schools booth at state and county fairs, or hold a health fair related to IAQ in Schools.
  • Sponsor an IAQ in Schools Awareness Day to coincide with the start of the school year.
      Benefits
  • Increases public awareness about the need for good IAQ in schools.
      Costs
  • Costs related to any creation and printing of posters, brochures, and other materials.
      More Information

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Sponsor Awards

      How?
  • Encourage schools that are pursuing good indoor air quality (IAQ) to apply for awards sponsored by EPA. The agency sponsors three awards.
    • The IAQ Tools for Schools (TfS) Great Start Award - This award is given to schools and school districts that are in the initial stages of implementing the IAQ TfS program.
    • IAQ TfS Leadership Award - This award is for schools and school districts making great progress in implementing an IAQ management program.
    • IAQ TfS Excellence Award - This award is the most prestigious award given by EPA and is awarded to schools and school districts with exemplary IAQ programs and that have shown exceptional commitment to good IAQ in schools.
  • Develop and present awards to architectural and construction firms that willingly include good IAQ practices into the design and renovation of schools.
      Benefits
  • Increases public awareness about the need for good IAQ in schools.
  • Recognizes efforts to improve IAQ in schools.
      Costs
  • Time and money needed to prepare award applications.
  • Time and money needed to devise award requirements and process applications.
      More Information

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Inform Decisionmakers

      How?
  • Attend open meetings when school district boards meet to discuss school site selection, construction, or renovations. During these meetings, raise the issue of the importance of good indoor air quality (IAQ) to make school board members aware of the need for careful consideration when selecting school sites, construction companies, and renovation companies.
  • Encourage school systems to order the Tools for Schools kit sponsored by EPA.
  • Urge your local government officials to develop IAQ standards that school construction and renovation should meet.
      Benefits
  • Increases awareness by decisionmakers about the dangers of poor IAQ in schools.
  • Better communication between citizens and decisionmakers.
      Costs
  • Time required to meet with school board members and/or local government officials.
      More Information

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Work with Design and Construction Companies

      How?
  • Meet with architects and engineers who are designing school construction or renovation plans to ensure that they understand the need to incorporate good indoor air quality (IAQ) measures into construction or renovation designs.
  • Work with school construction and renovation companies to raise awareness about the need to promote good IAQ practices during the construction of renovation of schools.
  • Ensure that construction or renovation company subcontractors also understand the need for good IAQ practices while constructing or renovating schools.
  • Encourage design and construction companies to utilize I-BEAM and SAVES when designing and constructing schools.
      Benefits
  • Better IAQ in schools due to sound design.
  • Better IAQ due to contractor awareness about the need for good IAQ during and after school construction or renovation.
      Costs
  • Costs associated with incorporating good IAQ measures into school construction or renovation designs.
  • Costs associated with incorporating good IAQ practices during the construction or renovation of schools.
  • Costs will vary from state to state and job to job.
      More Information
  • EPA has developed an IAQ Design Tools for Schools kit for designers to use when designing new construction or renovations for schools.
  • The Whole Building Design Guide Exit EPA Disclaimer provides up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance.
  • I-BEAM and SAVES are two tools that may be useful for architects and contractors to use when designing and building schools.

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