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Stylized Text: Energy Efficient Schools: Diagnostic Testing.


Graph of Chronic Complaints.A two part on-line survey instrument was developed that included general questions about the school and its operation, subjective questions concerning comfort conditions at the school and energy use specific questions. Although the survey response rate was low (239 total respondents / 0.25% response rate), some useful data was obtained.

Temperature was by far the greatest comfort complaint in regular classrooms, with 50.5% of respondents indicating “many” or “chronic” problems. Indoor air quality (IAQ) and then humidity were the next greatest areas of complaints in regular classrooms, with 20.4% and 13.1% of respondents indicating many or chronic complaints in these categories respectively.

At 22.5% of respondents, temperature was by far also the greatest cause of chronic complaints specifically, followed by IAQ, humidity and odors. Only 1.4% of respondents reported chronic mold problems, while 68.7% reported no mold problems. Conversely, only 2% of respondents reported no temperature problems at their school. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of respondents thought most or all the classroom temperature complaints were likely caused by not having enough thermostats or zones, while 37% thought none of the temperature complaints were due to those factors.

There were very few temperature, humidity, indoor air quality or mold complaints indicated in portable classrooms relative to the regular classrooms. Water damage was indicated by 72.5% of respondents in at least some regular classrooms during the “last several years,” but conversely, only 20.7% of respondents reported water damage in portable classrooms over the same period.

Administrative, cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium and special function rooms were indicated as having fewer complaints than either regular or portable classrooms.

*Survey Result Tabulations (PDF)