The Gap Cubbyhouse Montessori in Brisbane has used a new deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve air quality in its childcare centres, bringing in two Australian companies for the deployment.
Thinxtra and Zeplin have been contracted by the school to deploy indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring devices to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) levels to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 19 inside.
The Long Daycare caters for children aged six weeks to six years, specializing in the Early Years Learning Framework, Montessori and Steiner & Reggio Emilia educational systems.
After the center reopened after the pandemic closures, The Gap Cubbyhouse Montessori manager Sue-Ling Lau recognized the need for an IAQ monitoring solution to reduce the risk of transmission of airborne diseases like COVID-19 , and improve the general health and well-being of the Montessori Community at The Gap.
“All child care centers face the same threat of virus transmission, and by knowing the CO2 levels in a room, you can not only make informed decisions to minimize the transmission of COVID-19, but all diseases transmitted by the virus. ‘air,’ she said.
“It was not enough to open the windows and have air purifiers; these are crucial, but we needed to understand the air quality baseline in all parts of the center.
The center engaged Brisbane-based Zeplin to implement its IAQ monitoring solution, comprising IoT sensors that measure CO2, temperature and humidity levels.
Battery-powered devices have a lifespan of up to five years and require no ongoing maintenance. Data recorded by the sensors is transmitted in real time over Thinxtra’s nationwide 0G network and can be viewed in Zeplin’s remotely accessible cloud application.
“As I don’t always work on site, I wanted a way to see CO2 levels from a distance, and that’s where the Zeplin and Thinxtra systems came in. This turned out to be a very attractive option as it has created visibility into the air quality in all indoor spaces, with the ability to access data at any time, along with the benefit of live notifications,” Lau said.
The Gap Montessori has installed IAQ monitoring devices in the classrooms, offices, and hallways of the site, each with sensors that provide reliable data through Zeplin’s mobile and web apps.
The center receives alerts when maximum IAQ limits are reached, allowing Lau to advise employees working on-site to alter conditions in each respective room.
“Having real-time data on CO2 levels, humidity and temperature helps us take the right steps to maintain the health and well-being of children and staff. It lets us know when to open windows, go out and even make sure kids are hydrated and dressed appropriately during the warmer months. Poor ventilation also impacts cognitive abilities and therefore productivity, so reduced CO2 levels mean no one feels tired or groggy, giving us a more optimal learning environment for children,” Lau said.
“It’s been quite eye-opening to see the CO2 threshold alerts go through. We had no idea how high the CO2 levels could get even in a low density suburb like The Gap. Initially we were getting alerts several times a day, but we now need it less thanks to procedures in place to increase airflow.Our trigger point is 800 parts per million (ppm) – which is an acceptable level of CO2.Complaints of drowsiness and Poor air quality begins as soon as CO2 exceeds 1000ppm.These levels were surprisingly common in our center when we first installed the monitors.
“Parents have told me they feel very reassured that we are doing everything we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our daycare, with daily deep cleaning of our facilities, weekly rapid antigen testing for staff and now CO2 monitors. ”
Justin Appi, Director of Zeplin, said, “Sue and I discussed setting thresholds based on recommended standards, giving The Gap Cubbyhouse a solution that triggers alerts based on their preferred attributes that can be adjusted at any time. moment.
In addition to opening windows, running air purifiers, and turning air conditioners to the fresh air intake, CO2 monitors are essential in daycares and schools.
Thinxtra CEO Nicholas Lambrou said: “When it comes to reducing the spread of airborne viruses, controlling what you can’t see is incredibly difficult. With Zeplin and Thinxtra, The Gap Montessori has a solution capable of monitoring indoor air quality that helps the daycare provide a healthier and safer environment for children and staff; they are able to breathe cleaner air and perform better in well-ventilated spaces which have reduced the chances of airborne virus transmission.
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