Indoor air quality in London’s schools

Report commissioned by GLA and prepared by UCL IEDE and University of Cambridge, May 2018

Authors: Professor Dejan Mumovic, UCL IEDE; Dr Lia Chatzidiakou, University of Cambridge; Dr Joe Jack Williams, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Dr Esfand Burman, UCL IEDE

Key findings from the case study schools

  • This study found notable differences in the characteristics of indoor air pollution between seasons and classrooms depending on their microenvironment, building characteristics, operation and maintenance.
  • Outdoor NO2 concentrations and the airtightness of the building envelope explained 84% of the NO2 variation between classrooms, indicating the influence of strong outdoor pollution sources and the importance of the building envelope.
  • Higher levels of all PM fractions were recorded during the heating season. The difference in indoor PM levels between urban and suburban schools was not statistically significant. Indoor PM10 concentrations during the occupied period were consistently higher than outdoors. Mean indoor PM10 and PM2.5 levels recorded in all classrooms in both seasons were higher than 20 µg/m3 and 10 µg/m3 respectively, indicating that annual personal exposure to PM in the classroom may be higher than WHO 2010 guidelines. In most classrooms, PM concentrations were above daily guideline values.


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