IAQ Tools for Schools
Health and Achievement
Facilities Staff and Healthy Indoor School Environments
Most often, school facilities staff are the front line personnel of a thriving, sustainable IAQ management plan. As a member of a school facilities staff, you are in an ideal position to affect IAQ because you know the building inside and out and, therefore, know where potential threats to IAQ may lurk.
Facilities staff play a critical role in ensuring a healthy school environment. The IAQ Tools for Schools guidance is geared toward facility staff in particular by providing guidance on how they can operate and maintain healthy school buildings where students, teachers and staff can learn and thrive.
Top Actions Facilities Staff Can Take to Address IAQ
- Implement policies and procedures to make IAQ management actions sustainable, and openly communicate your steps to success.
- Ensure routine inspection and maintenance policies.
- Train custodial staff to respond quickly to IAQ-related issues and building occupants' concerns, and communicate with teachers and other staff when issues have been addressed.
- Learn more about managing indoor environmental health through the building, renovation, operations and maintenance processes on the IAQ Design Tools for Schools website.
EPA Resources for Facilities Staff
- The IAQ Tools for Schools Framework for Effective School IAQ Management outlines the key programmatic and technical components that must be in place for successful, sustainable IAQ management plans.
- The IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit helps facility staff immediately identify potential improvements and understand how facility management processes influence IAQ. It is the seminal guidance from EPA on school IAQ, containing rich information for facilities staff, including:
- Ventilation Checklist (PDF) (5 pp., 254 K, about PDF) | (DOC, 5 pp., 139 K) Conduct an inventory of your building's air intakes and exhaust vents to ensure that pollutants are not entering your building with fresh air and that exhaust fans are working to carry noxious fumes out of the building.
- Building Maintenance Checklist (PDF) (2 pp., 98 K) | (DOC, 2 pp., 99 K) En Español (PDF, 6 pp., 321 K) Conduct an inventory of chemical use, storage, purchasing, labeling and disposal to ensure that, in an IAQ crisis, you know every chemical on hand and that every container for a potentially harmful chemical is safely stored away from students.
- Waste Management Checklist (PDF) (1 page, 60 K) | (DOC, 1 page, 97 K) En Español (PDF, 2 pp., 155 K) Determine if your facility's art, science and lab classes store chemical waste separately from other wastes and if chemical waste is kept in a well-ventilated room that exhausts air to the outside.
- Renovation and Repairs Checklist (PDF) (3 pp., 495 K) | (DOC, 3 pp., 101 K) Identify renovation and repair materials that will result in minimal off-gassing, to ensure students, teachers and staff stay healthy during the process.
- Walkthrough Checklist (PDF) (2 pp., 71 K) | (DOC, 2 pp., 75 K) Identify common trouble spots in and around school buildings where the sources of IAQ problems may be, such as bird's nests on the roof near the ventilation system intakes, or disconnected vent hoses on combustion appliances.
- IAQ Reference Guide: Appendix H - Mold and Moisture This resource includes information on identifying and correcting common mold and moisture problems, how to clean mold, and steps you can take to taking steps to reduce moisture and mold growth.
- Problem Solving Wheel This interactive, user-friendly tool is designed to help identify the symptoms of health problems caused by poor IAQ, common IAQ issues in schools and how to address them.
Other Resources for Facilities Staff
- Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Access ASBO's Environmental Resource Center, which includes information about IAQ, school environmental management, and guiding principles and strategies for facility design and construction. www.asbointl.org/IndoorAirQualityResources.htm