We explored our own 40-plus years of experience, and researched the very best practices out there from thought leaders, other caring companies - architects, engineers and builders, non-profit organizations, schools and government entities to create these ways to build healthier schools.

Follow these Best Practices to keep moisture out of the building:

• Design roofs for positive drainage; design flashing with appropriate height to prevent water intrusion over the top of flashing. Use NCFI's EnduraTech® Roofing Systems (www.enduratechsystems.com)

• Detail flashing appropriately at wall openings, such as windows and doors; provide weep holes at adequate spacing

• Do not rely on caulking alone to prevent water intrusion

• Design cavity walls rather than composite walls

• Ensure that finish grade is 8" (6" min.) below finish floors

• Base-of-wall flashing should weep to the exterior at least one brick course below finish floor level, and be integrated into the interior wythe several inches above finish floor

• Carefully design any changes in floor levels conditions where finish floor is below finish grade, retaining wall conditions, and other situations where waterproofing, foundation drains, and the like would be used

• Apply InsulBloc® polyurethane spray foam insulation. Where possible, use products that perform multiple functions to keep designs simple and easy to build properly: Insulation like InsulBloc® that is also the air barrier and water seal

• Ensure transition areas, such as wall-to-roof junction are able to be sealed for air leakage, wind-blown water

• Plan for joints of dissimilar materials, such as steel columns in a masonry block wall

• Detail vapor barriers with type and position, as appropriate to building function and geographic location

• Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof or floors) by adding spray polyurethane insulation

• Provide ventilation for space above non-insulated soffits

• Outbuildings: provide good natural ventilation, high and low, and provide durable and easily cleanable finish materials




Design and maintain HVAC equipment to control moisture accumulation design
Ventilation air is perhaps the largest moisture source in schools. Proper design and maintenance is vital to controlling moisture in schools and, thus, inhibiting the growth of mold.

• Maintain low indoor humidity - below 60% Relative Humidity (RH), ideally, 30-50%

• ASHRAE standards for ventilation rates can be reduced (7.5-15 cfm per person) in classrooms

• Adequately vent showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside

• Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning in food service areas. Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside

• Keep HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed

• Perform regular equipment inspections and maintenance as scheduled




Saving Schools Money
Building healthy with spray foam insulation can also save schools money. InsulBloc® spray foam insulation is a safe moisture barrier system that contains no ozone depleting chemicals and contains renewable agricultural products like sugar beets and corn. It's safe, long-lasting and even allows schools to focus their limited maintenance budgets on things like HVAC upkeep - another major point at which moisture enters buildings and collects - rather than extremely costly wall repairs or replacement.

 

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