Environ Monit Assess. 2023 Nov 23;195(12):1524. doi: 10.1007/s10661-023-12147-z.
One of the major present challenges in the building sector is to construct sustainable and low-energy buildings with a healthy, safe, and comfortable environment. This study is designed to explore long-term impacts of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) parameters in a historic technical school building on the health and comfort of students. The main objective is to identify environmental problems in schools and to direct public policy towards the enhancement of in-service historic buildings. The collected data on five consecutive days in various seasons from five different classrooms indicate allergy in 45% and asthma in 10% of students. Environmental factors, such as temperature, draught, noise, or light, affected 51% of students’ attention. Low temperature, unpleasant air, noise, and draught were found to be the most frequent concerns for students. The lowest temperature was measured during spring at 17.6 °C, the lowest humidity of 21.1% in winter, the largest CO2 amount in the air in autumn at 2041 ppm level, and the greatest total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) as 514 µg/m3. The experimental and statistical analysis results suggest the necessity of a comprehensive restoration of the building with a focus on enhancement of IEQ as well as replacement of old non-standard materials. An effective ventilation system is also necessary. The building requires major renovations to preserve its historic features while safeguarding the well-being and comfort of students and staff. Further research is needed on acoustics, lighting, and energy factors as well as the health effects of old building materials.