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EmiratesGBC stresses the need to focus on IAQ in schools

Technical Analyst highlights the importance of having baselines in analysing performance across schools in the United Arab Emirates

| | Nov 12, 2018 | 4:46 pm
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Jason John, Technical Analyst, EmiratesGBC

Dubai, UAE, 12 November 2018: “What does a Green School really mean?” was a question posed by Jason John, Technical Analyst, Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), during the session on ‘Evaluating the state and performance of schools in the UAE’, at the International Conference for Sustainable Construction Materials, held in Dubai. The main objective of a Green School or a Green Building, he asserted, is to place its occupants at the heart of the building experience. When given some thought, he said, we must realise that having a Green School is not only about maximising energy performance, but is also about enhancing Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Emphasising on past research, John said, “Research shows evidence that IAQ and IEQ in a building has a tremendous influence on the health of its occupants.” However, he added, when it comes to schools, the effects of bad IAQ on children can be far worse, as compared to the health effects on adults. Elaborating, he said, “Children are different as compared to adults, anatomically, physically, psychologically and cognitively.” Children, he added, breathe in more air as compared to adults and according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Asthma is said to be one of the leading causes of absenteeism, which can be traced back to bad IAQ. Elaborating on the importance of understanding baselines in evaluating schools in the United Arab Emirates, he said, “There are about 1,300 schools in the region, which are split into public and private sector schools.” This, he added, amounts to 1.2 million children studying in the region. Pointing to the role of EmiratesGBC in contributing to benchmarking the performance of schools, he said that the EmiratesGBC has formed the Emirates Coalition for Green Schools, which aims to work with stakeholders to discuss how every child in the region can best learn in a Green School.


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