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Insights from an expert: IEQ and back to school

September 23, 2021

Q. What are your key observations about IEQ & schools in 2020?
A. The biggest efforts we saw from schools were built around increasing filter MERV rating and using technologies that were already being utilized by the district. At the tail end of the pandemic school districts vary all over the map on what they are doing with their stimulus funds related to HVAC but mostly have stuck to tried and true technologies and CDC guidance.  

Q. Where do you see the biggest opportunity for improvements come fall 2021?
A. The biggest opportunity I see for improvements in fall 2021 is for school districts to utilize their stimulus funds to address deferred maintenance and improve the weakest links they have in their systems, (most often this is their aging air handling system).  We have discussed with many districts that their facilities team hope to use stimulus funds to upgrade or refurbish their air handlers in their facilities. 

Q. What can schools start doing today to prepare for the upcoming school year? 
A. We are recommending to schools to “jump” out of the gate quickly to spend any stimulus funds they receive because there is going to be a big demand when everyone decides to upgrade HVAC at the same time. Get in front of the line so to speak.  Besides that, I think schools have done an admirable job managing the pandemic and getting kids back to school.

Q. What trends do you see for K12 in this upcoming school year? 
A. I think everyone is just looking forward to getting back to a new normal without all the masks, plastic shields and procedures. Moving forward, there will continue to be more precautions taken for IEQ.

Cameron Griffith

About the author
Cameron Griffith, Solutions Advisor, LEED, AP, CEM, CDSM

Cameron Griffith offers 15 years of energy services consulting experience helping customers leverage their buildings to meet improve their business performance. Cameron helps building owners meet or exceed business outcomes, using buildings as a resource to maximize asset potential. He and his team collaborate with clients to help them achieve goals that include:

  • Positive financial impacts through energy and operational savings
  • Improved results such as greater productivity, tenant/client/employee retention, or safety improvements and regulatory compliance,
  • Their mission-oriented results, whether that is focused on sustainability, reduced carbon emissions or a more positive community image