Air filters for schools and daycare centers in Darmstadt

Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch with the headmistress Katharina Rothkirch of the Heinrich-Heine-Schule (Photo: Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt / Lea Stenger)

Mayor and Head of School Partsch: “With the numerous air filter devices that are currently being distributed and installed, we support window ventilation and thus the health protection of those who cannot yet receive a vaccination offer”.

For reasons of infection protection, the City of Science Darmstadt wants to continuously supply classrooms in schools and daycare rooms with fresh air in the medium and long term by installing ventilation and air conditioning systems. The situation of children under 12 years of age was examined in particular, as there is no recommendation for vaccination protection for them. Where such systems are not installed, CO2 traffic lights should support the correct ventilation behavior and mobile air filter devices help to clean the air. On Thursday, August 26th, Mayor and Head of School Jochen Partsch presented the measures at an on-site visit at the Heinrich Heine School.

“In the past few weeks we have taken another close look at protecting young people and schoolchildren from being infected with Covid-19,” explains Mayor Jochen Partsch. “After the installations that have now started, we will be able to continuously supply many classrooms with fresh air with ventilation and air conditioning systems. For day-care centers and elementary and special schools that do not already have ventilation systems, a total of 400 additional mobile air filter devices have been procured, which are now being delivered to the elementary schools and kindergartens by the property management company around the start of school. “

These mobile devices, which have been selected under hygienic aspects, but also taking sound emissions into account, have been tried and tested in practice. “280 of these devices were installed in school and childcare rooms that are difficult to ventilate in the past winter months. The air quality is improved by filtering and the virus and germ load is reduced. The best way to reduce the viral load, however, is to exchange air by supplying fresh air, which is also essential when using mobile air filter devices. In order to support the care facilities and schools with the correct ventilation, additional CO2 traffic lights were procured, which will be distributed to the child care facilities and the Darmstadt schools in the next few weeks ”, Partsch continues.

Window ventilation is associated with considerable energy loss, especially in autumn and winter. Therefore, the aim is to create high hygienic air quality in as many primary school buildings as possible, even without window ventilation. The use of ventilation systems such as those installed in new school buildings, for example on the Luise Büchner campus, is helpful here. Decentralized ventilation devices should be installed where there are no central ventilation systems. These air conditioning systems, which work with direct outside air intake and high air exchange with 90 percent heat recovery at the same time, thus ensure hygienic quality through multiple filters in an energetically sensible concept.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been constantly thinking about how we can best protect children and young people from infection. That is why we already procured a large number of mobile filter devices in winter and delivered them to the schools. It was clear to us from the start that these devices do not offer the only security. We were therefore happy when a federal funding program for the installation of ventilation and air conditioning systems in day-care centers and primary schools was decided in June. Unfortunately, this program came very late, which made it impossible to install such systems before school started. Nonetheless, our in-house property management company, with the great dedication of our employees, has succeeded in setting up a concept that enables children to be well protected: At short notice, we help with mobile air filter devices in almost all class and group rooms. For a long-term solution, we have applied for funding for permanently installed ventilation and air conditioning systems for all class and group rooms in which it is structurally and technically possible, ”explains Mayor Partsch.

After an examination, 167 classrooms come into consideration for the installation of ventilation and air conditioning systems, for which funding applications for the corresponding funding program have also been submitted. In the day-care centers, an examination is currently underway to determine where the use of ventilation and air-conditioning systems makes sense.

In order to be optimally prepared when the funding applications for the ventilation and air conditioning systems are approved, the installation of these stationary decentralized systems is currently being tested in three pilot schools. For this purpose, the city administration procured equipment from its own resources without resorting to subsidies. For the installation of the devices, extensive planning and static checks were necessary before the core drillings could be carried out through the outer wall. The preparations in the Wilhelm-Busch-Schule, the Georg-August-Zinn and the Ludwig-Schwamb-Schule are as good as complete, so that the systems in these pilot schools can be installed by specialist companies in September 2021.

“With the air filter devices that are currently being distributed to the state primary schools and the municipal day-care centers, we support window ventilation and thus the health protection of those who cannot yet receive a vaccination offer. In the rooms in which the installation of decentralized ventilation and air conditioning systems is possible, we will be able to ensure good and hygienic air quality in the long term after the funding has been approved, ”says the Lord Mayor, summarizing the measures taken by the City of Science Darmstadt.

(Text: PM Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt) Luftfil

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