A school in Padua
Find out how you can breathe healthier air and encourage in-person teaching with a FlowM800 HRV system.
The problem of poor air quality in school buildings was already known before the pandemic.
Restricted “henhouse classes”, poorly ventilated and overcrowded for prolonged periods, are “watertight chambers” that act as fertile ground for biological, chemical and physical pollutants.
During the Covid lockdown, the Municipal Administration of Fontaniva (Padua) sought solutions to safeguard in-person schooling and the vital student-teacher interaction and social dynamics of school life that cannot be replaced by distance learning (DAD). Public funds were also made available to enable financing of a forward-looking project to equip the institutions with heat recovery ventilation systems.
Which HRV system is best for air exchange in schools?
With the aid of a design study, the Municipality and its technicians evaluated a number of system solutions to ensure a continuous air exchange in the classrooms of the three municipal school complexes.
The mechanical ventilation system had to have adequate capacity for air renewal and filtration; equally important was a heat recovery solution to reduce costs and not negatively affect previous energy efficiency investments on the buildings.
Finally, the work had to be fully completed within tight time limits while the schools were closed for the summer break.
The FlowM800 solution
The full HRV retrofit involved 54 classrooms between three school buildings: Scuola Primaria Battisti and Scuola Secondaria di primo grado Alberti in the municipality of Fontaniva and Scuola Primaria Filzi in San Giorgio, Brenta.
The Helty FlowM800 decentralised cabinet HRV was selected based on the technical data and the potential for lean design and flexible site management, with much faster installation times than alternative ducted solutions.
Installation was managed by the Ranzato Impianti company during the period of school closure and was completed in time for reopening in September 2021.
The benefits of classroom HRV
The powerful air flow rate, which can be set at 10 speeds up to 800 m³/h, allows for modulated ventilation of the individual classrooms, which can also help deal with emergency situations.
The fresh air enters only once it is filtered by an F9 filter that prevents access of smog, particulates and pollens, improving the quality and hygiene of the indoor air.
The heat recovery technology prevents the temperature changes, noise and energy waste that would have accompanied open-window ventilation.
The ease of maintenance, involving periodic checks and filter replacement as required, is a further significant consideration.