The Use of Windows as Controls for Indoor Environmental Conditions in Schools.

Runa Tabea Hellwig, Florian Antretter, Andreas Holm, Klaus Sedlbauer

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


There are more than 40.000 school buildings in Germany. Most of them are awaiting retrofitting. Retrofitting is not only intended to improve the energetic standards, but first of all to improve indoor environmental conditions for pupils and teachers. Besides the teaching method, the environment in the classrooms is supposed to play an important role for the performance of students. As most of German schools are not equipped with mechanical ventilation systems, natural ventilation controlled by the occupants opening the windows is the main way to maintain healthy and comfortable conditions in the classrooms. For that purpose the influence of window opening behaviour of the occupants on the indoor environment was measured in two German schools. Temperature and carbon dioxide concentration of the indoor air as well as the exterior climate conditions were measured. In one school the frequency of window opening was recorded. Besides high CO2-concentrations especially during winter, some of the investigated classrooms are additionally to cold in winter or to hot in summer. Some classrooms do not have a shading device or the shading device is insufficient or it constricts the ventilation of the room. Windows are used as controls. But it seems that they are more likely used to control indoor temperature than to control indoor air quality. Windows get closed after lessons and stay closed until next morning. There is no night or early morning ventilation in summer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Conference: Air Conditioning and the Low Carbon Cooling Challenge, Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, UK, 27-29 July 2008.
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherNetwork for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings,
Publication date2008
Article number23
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • school
  • natural ventilation
  • Window
  • Retrofitting
  • indoor climate
  • Temperature
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Indoor air quality


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