Ventilation and Air quality in Schools

Building Bulletin 101

Guidelines on ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality in schools

This document sets out regulations, standards and guidance on ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality for school buildings. It replaces Building Bulletin 101 (BB101), ‘Ventilation of School Buildings’, 2006.

Section 1 provides an introduction and describes the factors that affect the design of the indoor environment of schools.

Section 2 describes the regulatory framework for schools in full. It gives the recommended Department for Education (DfE) performance standards for compliance with UK regulations.

Section 3, Table 3‑1 is a quick reference guide showing which parts of BB101 are regulatory, which are ESFA recommended design standards, and which are for further information and guidance. The regulatory standards are covered in section 2. The ESFA recommended design standards are also in the ESFA Output Specification: Generic Design Brief and Technical Annexes, in particular Technical Annex 2F: ‘Mechanical services and public health engineering’, published in 2017.

Sections 4 is an overview for the whole design team.

Sections 5 to 8 provide non-statutory guidance on how to design schools to achieve adequate performance for ventilation, indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

Expiry/review date

This advice will be reviewed in 2022.

Who is this advice for?

This advice is for those involved in the design, specification and construction of new school buildings and the refurbishment of existing buildings. This may include:

  • contractors
  • architects
  • engineers
  • project managers
  • building users
  • facilities managers
  • governors
  • parents
  • students


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