During the 2014/15 school year, air quality and noise levels were monitored in and around the eight schools involved in GIOCONDA project
The data collected contributed to improving the knowledge of the environment in which students live.
How monitoring works:
installing control units for air and using microphones and devices for noise
collecting data during the school year in two monitoring campaigns
reporting and analyzing data, comparing them with the usual monitoring network.
Every tool used for monitoring is described in simple fact sheets available for students and teachers.
Air quality inside school buildings and their immediate surroundings was assessed on the basis of a specific measurement campaign, also compared with the data from permanent monitoring networks.
Concentration levels of some pollutants were evaluated:
particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
Filters for particulate matter applied on devices working one or two weeks, and samples for the other pollutants were collected during several measurement campaigns in different seasons. Different types of “tools” were used according to the pollutant monitored.
To characterize the school from an acoustic point of view, noise and sound level measurements were carried out using sound level meters, spectrum analyzers and specific noise source analyzers.
The levels were measured outside (front of the building) and inside the schools. For the acoustic characterization of buildings, noise insulation measurements were performed at the front and between adjacent environments, in addition to measuring reverberation time and speech intelligibility (RASTI).
Measurements outside the school buildings
Equivalent level measurements were carried out in accordance with the law requirements (DM 16 March 1998). Wherever noise level of the area was mainly attributable to road traffic, the continuous measurements lasted at least one week. The measuring instrument used was a control unit fixed outside the building (preferably in a significant location) equipped with a microphone.
Measurements inside the school building
-> Noise characterization inside the classroom (interior measurement 1). In conjunction with the outside measurements (previous point), measurements were carried out inside the classrooms in at least two positions, at the center of the room and in the vicinity of the window.
->Characterization of the acoustic properties of the school building (interior measurement 2). In order to evaluate the acoustic properties of the school environment (classrooms) the following measurements were carried out:
facade insulation and insulation between adjacent areas
speech intelligibility (RASTI index)
The measurements were carried out in three classrooms for each school.
Each outdoor measurement campaign was repeated four times in the period November 2014 – May 2015. At the same time (one afternoon) measurements were carried out inside (interior Noise 1), while the set of measurements to characterize the acoustic properties of the school structure was carried out only once, during one afternoon (in December 2014 and January 2015).