New lab windows - poor ventilation.

I work in a small school with one lab, Over lockdown our old, insecure, aluminium windows were replaced by uPVC double-glazing.
'Lovely' we said.
However they swing open from the bottom and only open by 10cm.
We did sodium in water next to the open window and the room was full of fumes.
I have asked for at least one window to be adapted to allow better ventilation and the caretaker has said we can have a CO2 monitor as soon as they come in in case that can help with my argument. Management shrugged their shoulders and asked me to show them the guidance that says labs need good ventilation.
I have gone to CLEAPSS. GL308 is for chemical stores, not classrooms, and PS15 is a bit vague.
The prep room is a cupboard with an extractor and we have no room for a fume cupboard.

Can anyone suggest any other guidance that I can use to ask for a wider opening, or an extractor fan?
If not my only option is to set the fire alarm off and I'd rather not.

Thanks.
 
Building Bulletin 101: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-bulletin-101-ventilation-for-school-buildings

I think PS15 is fairly comprehensive regarding what you need to achieve; unfortunately doesn't really help in coming up with a solution though! It just says "specialist advice is required"... BB101 is fairly impenetrable in places (as many government documents tend to be :rolleyes:) and 161 pages long, but does have loads of info and some associated calculation tools. Some sections are specific to science too.
 
Management shrugged their shoulders and asked me to show them the guidance that says labs need good ventilation.
Typical management response. I would look carefully at all the regular practicals you do and see if CLEAPSS recommend good ventilation for the chemicals being used. Point out anything that says 'carry out in a well ventilated lab'. (I am thinking of the sodium thiosulfate rates of reaction as a possible example)
 
The ventilation rate table from BB101:

Table 5‑2 Minimum exhaust rates for science and practical spaces
Room type​
Area (m2)Minimum required ventilation rate
Laboratories and preparation room
>70​
4 l/s/m2​
Laboratories and preparation room
37-70​
11.42 –(0.106 x Area) l/s/m2
[note that this is equal to flow rate for the room of 278 l/s]​
Laboratories and preparation room
<37​
7.5 l/s/m2​
Chemistry store room
All​
2 air changes per hour, 24 hours a day.​
Art classroom
All​
2.5 l/s/m2​
Metal/wood workshop/classroom; Rooms with 3D printers; laser cutters; and spray booths for spray glue or spray paint aerosols
All​
2.5 l/s/m2​
Note: Area-based ventilation rates in l/s/m2 apply to spaces of 2.7 m height or higher. The equivalent air change rate per hour (ach) can be calculated from ach = (l/s/m2 rate) x 3.6/(Room height(m)). For spaces below 2.7 m in height the equivalent air change rate to a 2.7 m high space should be used.
 
I work in a small school with one lab, Over lockdown our old, insecure, aluminium windows were replaced by uPVC double-glazing.
'Lovely' we said.
However they swing open from the bottom and only open by 10cm.
We did sodium in water next to the open window and the room was full of fumes.
I have asked for at least one window to be adapted to allow better ventilation and the caretaker has said we can have a CO2 monitor as soon as they come in in case that can help with my argument. Management shrugged their shoulders and asked me to show them the guidance that says labs need good ventilation.
I have gone to CLEAPSS. GL308 is for chemical stores, not classrooms, and PS15 is a bit vague.
The prep room is a cupboard with an extractor and we have no room for a fume cupboard.

Can anyone suggest any other guidance that I can use to ask for a wider opening, or an extractor fan?
If not my only option is to set the fire alarm off and I'd rather not.

Thanks.
they need to fit an extractor fan.
 
Management of Health and Safety at Work etc Regulations 1993 as well as COSHH and DSEAR, since you're working with chemical fumes you don't want to be breathing in -> if they won't take the advice, go straight to the regs and point out they must have forced ventilation in all occupied rooms or they can be sued by anyone working or studying in them.
 
Both, two points of ventilation, one to let air in, one to let air out. However, many buildings have air bricks (bricks with holes in) to act as an input and for covid, the windows being open by 10cm would be considered sufficient, so long as there were two of them.
 
Some of our UPVC windows have restrictors built in. On each side there is a strut that wont pass a certain point, however gently pressing the strut into the frame releases the window to open further.
 
Do make sure though that teachers use the correct size of sodium as per CLEAPSS guidance. We had the same problem here when our new windows were fitted so we only give very small pieces of Grp 1 metals
 

CovTech

Lvl 37 Alchemist
COMMITTEE
When it comes to ventilation for Covid, do you require an input fan rather than an extractor?
All CLEAPSS talk about is the HSE guidance and monitoring CO2 levels

DfE seem to think if CO2 is low enough then the ventilation must be good enough for covid so just watch your CO2 and get a £20 monitor for each lab if you don't have any

Don't need any fans if that can be done passively I guess
 
Ours are like this too. No strut though @Tonytech even though we were told that they would have that. Maths however, can open windows wide, go figure.

Naughty, we know, but we unscrewed the restrictor. We're on the ground floor so won't get hurt if we fall out.
 
Some of our UPVC windows have restrictors built in. On each side there is a strut that wont pass a certain point, however gently pressing the strut into the frame releases the window to open further.
It is difficult to describe.
Either side of the widow is a metal channel as part of the window frame.
When the window is open (as far as normally allowed) there is a vertical bar in the channel towards the top(almost hidden by the window itself)
the bar has a inverted T shape(long stem, tiny bar) the bar of the T sits in a small cutout in the channel.
Pressing the bar releases it from the cutout and the window will open further.
 
All CLEAPSS talk about is the HSE guidance and monitoring CO2 levels

DfE seem to think if CO2 is low enough then the ventilation must be good enough for covid so just watch your CO2 and get a £20 monitor for each lab if you don't have any

Don't need any fans if that can be done passively I guess
I have one it's interesting to see the rise just sitting in the front room at home, but it was more than £20, you need a NDIR one.
 

Nick Mitchener

COMMITTEE
we had an unscheduled break this afternoon. Turns out you can't do Chemistry in a Physics lab here because the lack of ventilation sets off the smoke alarm. (I have no idea who thought it a good idea to put in smoke detectors instead of heat detectors, but the small windows definitely don't help!
 
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