University of Oulu

Toyinbo O. Indoor Environmental Quality, Pupils’ Health, and Academic Performance—A Literature Review. Buildings. 2023; 13(9):2172.

Indoor environmental quality, pupils’ health, and academic performance : a literature review

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Author: Toyinbo, Oluyemi1
Organizations: 1Department of Civil Engineering, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiterankatu 1, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-16


Classrooms have more students per square meter than other buildings such as offices, making them more crowded. In addition, children respire more than adults and are in contact with one another more often. For appropriate student comfort, wellbeing, and health, including reducing the risk of transferring communicable diseases (for example, COVID-19) in the school setting, adequate ventilation and thermal comfort is recommended, along with regular cleaning, especially of high-contact surfaces. However, this may lead to increased energy usage, especially in mechanically ventilated schools. While natural ventilation conserves energy, its usage may be limited in temperate regions, especially during the cold seasons, as more energy will be required for heating in order to achieve thermal comfort. In the tropics, natural ventilation alone may be insufficient for students’ thermal comfort due to the possibility of unconditioned warm or cold outdoor air entering the classroom environment. Additionally, natural ventilation is difficult to control, as there may be overventilation or underventilation due to the ventilation rate being dependent on the outdoor environmental condition such as windspeed. This current traditional literature review appraises previous indoor environmental quality (IEQ) literature on ventilation, thermal comfort, moisture and mold, and cleanliness in schools. Furthermore, a further review was performed on the effect of IEQ (indoor air quality and thermal comfort) on student health and academic outcomes in order to summarize existing knowledge that can help other researchers avoid research duplication and identify research gaps for future school IEQ studies.

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Series: Buildings
ISSN: 2075-5309
ISSN-E: 2075-5309
ISSN-L: 2075-5309
Volume: 13
Issue: 9
Article number: 2172
DOI: 10.3390/buildings13092172
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: This work was partially funded by the Academy of Finland, decision number 342403.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 342403
Detailed Information: 342403 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (