Healthy indoor environments influence the comfort, health and wellbeing of the occupants. Monitoring the indoor temperature, relative humidity and CO2 levels in primary schools during the COVID-19 pandemic was mandated by a local authority in Scotland. The aim was to investigate the comfort and safety of the teachers and their pupils. This paper presents the measurements of indoor climate in 20 classrooms in four different primary schools in Scotland. The schools were of different architypes. The classrooms were of different sizes, orientations and occupancy, and had different ventilation systems. Ventilation was achieved either by manually opening the windows, or by a mechanical ventilation system. Indoor air temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were continuously monitored for one week during the heating season 2020/21. Occupancy and opening of the windows were logged in by the teachers. The ventilation rates in the classrooms were estimated by measuring the CO2 concentrations. On the 20 classrooms of the study, data of 19 were analysed. The results show that four of the five mechan-ically ventilated classrooms performed better than natural ventilation, which indicates that opening the windows depended on the customs and habits. Classrooms in naturally ventilated Victorian buildings have the worst average ventilation rate (4.38 L/s per person) compared to the other classrooms (5.8 L/s per person for the more recent naturally ventilated ones, and 6.08 L/s per person for the mechanically ventilated ones). The results of this preliminary study will be used as the basis to find ways to ensure adequate ventilation in natural ventilated classrooms.


Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Smith, A., Bain-Reguis, N., Hollins-Martin, C. & Currie, J. 2022, 'Indoor CO2 and Thermal Conditions in Twenty Scottish Primary School Classrooms with Different Ventilation Systems during the COVID-19 Pandemic', Pollutants, 2(2), pp. 180-204. https://doi.org/10.3390/pollutants2020014

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 16 June 2022
Was this page helpful?