Use of CO2 feedback as a retrofit solution for improving air quality in naturally ventilated classrooms

Pawel Wargocki, Nuno Alexandre Faria Da Silva

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Carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors that provide a green/yellow/red visual indication were installed in pairs of naturally ventilated classrooms during normal school operation. During a two-week period in the heating and the cooling season, teachers and students were instructed to open the windows in response to the CO2 feedback in one week and open them as they would normally do, without feedback, in the other week. In the cooling season, two pairs of classrooms were monitored, one pair with split cooling in operation and the other pair with no cooling. The resulting indoor environmental conditions in these classrooms and window opening behaviour were monitored. Children also reported their perceptions and symptoms. Resulting energy use was measured and used to estimate annual energy use. Providing CO2 feedback reduced CO2 levels. More windows were opened in this condition, and this increased energy use for heating and reduced the cooling requirement. Split-cooling reduced the frequency of window opening when no CO2 feedback was present, suggesting that classroom temperature is the driving factor for this behavioural response. Children liked CO2 feedback; their perceptions and symptoms were somewhat improved with CO2 feedback, although many of these changes did not reach formal statistical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event10th International Conference on Healthy Buildings - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 8 Jul 201212 Jul 2012
Conference number: 10


Conference10th International Conference on Healthy Buildings
LocationBrisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Internet address


  • Schools
  • Classrooms
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Ventilation
  • Retrofit solution
  • Energy


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