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How IAQ Affects Health and Student Performance

Studies have demonstrated that increased classroom ventilation rates are associated with improved student health and performance.

  • One study showed that doubling the ventilation rate from about 7.5 cubic feet per minute per person (cfm/person) to 15 cfm/person improved academic performance by about 8 percent. 5
  • A U.S. study of fifth-grade classrooms in 100 schools used student performance in standard academic tests as the measure of performance and estimated that there was nearly a 3 percent increase in the proportion of students passing standardized math and reading tests for each 2 cfm/person increase in the ventilation rate across the range of 2 to 15 cfm/person.6

A detailed discussion of how IAQ issues can affect student health and academic performance, with supporting studies, can be located at the IAQ Scientific Findings Resource Bank website, hosted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

5. Wargocki, P. and Wyon, D.: Research report on effects of HVAC on student performance. October 2006. ASHRAE Journal, 48: p. 22-28.
6. Haverinen-Shaughnessy, U., Moschandreas, D., and Shaughnessy, R.: Association between substandard classroom ventilation rates and students’ academic achievement. 2011. Indoor Air, 21(2): p. 121-31.