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School Ventilation Must Knows: How to Help Improve Air Quality

Posted by OMNIA Partners on September 9, 2021

With students and staff back in the classroom for in-person learning, an administrator's priority is to ensure that each child and teacher is protected from COVID-19 and other health risks.

Schools were busy buying masks, hand sanitizer and wipes last year, and the purchasing needs continue to evolve. According to a recent Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security report, School Ventilation: A Vital Tool to Reduce COVID-19 Spread, a longstanding problem in kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) schools is ventilation. So, what exactly does that entail? Ventilation is defined as the process of supplying air to or removing air from a space to control air contaminant levels, humidity, or temperature. The study points to poor indoor air quality as a factor in not only negatively affecting health, but also student learning.

It’s critical to ensure your school's indoor air quality is properly tested, repaired, replaced, or upgraded depending on test results. Purchasing pros, you’ll be comforted to know that ventilation improvements can also be a very cost-effective public health measure.


Students and Teacher around a table in classroom

Align with Stakeholders to Solve Ventilation Issues

An important component of cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities is ensuring they have good ventilation.

The Johns Hopkins report explains how investing in healthy air in schools can outlast the pandemic, reduce future disease outbreaks, and give children and school staff healthier indoor air quality for decades.

Schools can work with their engineers and some suppliers, like Trane® , to get an air quality assessment to better understand current conditions, recommended




What Can Purchasing Professionals Talk to Stakeholders About Right Now?

  • Connect with school administrators and decision-makers to discuss bringing in as much outdoor air as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will safely allow and upgrading filtration.

    In fact, Tom Horton, Director of Facilities with Carlisle Area School District in Pennsylvania shares how he and      his team worked with key stakeholders on the topic.

   “We were trying to find a solution getting people back into school,” says Horton. “We did a comprehensive study, looking at filtration and air exchange rates. We met with our Board of Education and created a good, better, best scenario we could do to our HVAC system to accomplish our goals.”


Listen and learn more about selecting the best technologies and how Horton was able to fund these projects.

Trane Case Study


  • Discuss the idea of purchasing HEPA air filtration units to be placed in classrooms and common occupied spaces. Even if ventilation in a school already meets current building standards (many do not), additional air filtration from a stand-alone solution can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Is there stimulus funding that can be utilized to help make facility improvements?

  • Think about halting enhanced cleaning, disinfecting, “deep clean” days, and any other expensive and disruptive cleaning routines. Of course, regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces should continue, but keep in mind that investments in ventilation can provide more value in risk reduction.

Find The Best Air Quality Experts Through Your Cooperative

Leveraging cooperative purchasing can help procurement teams connect to industry-leading suppliers with cooperative contracts that provide facilities maintenance, cleaning, janitorial, maintenance repair & operations (MRO), job order contracting (JOC), HVAC, and more products and services to reopen and maintain your facility. 

As a supplier partner of OMNIA Partners, Public Sector, Trane® provides HVAC and energy performance contracting through a competitively-solicited cooperative contract. Trane can assist your school or public agency, with improving and enhancing the building performance.  

Check out Synexis, Trane’s revolutionary new technology designed to address viruses and bacteria hiding in our daily lives.4 Approaches to Healthy Indoor Living

Leverage Our Competitively Solicited Contracts

The long-term solution of poor air quality is improved ventilation that is properly installed, maintained, and operated. Your students and educators will benefit for years.

As you’re teaming up with stakeholders on how to improve ventilation in schools, OMNIA Partners is here to help you.

Our contracts are competitively solicited and publicly awarded by government agencies and educational institutions serving as lead agencies while utilizing industry best practices, processes, and procedures.

OMNIA Partners delivers state and local governments, higher education, K-12, and nonprofit organizations more cooperative contracts, in more verticals, with transparent, value-driven pricing to save time, resources and money.


Topics: Facilities & Infrastructure, Procurement, K-12 Education