Preschool - A
Building materials with the indoor environment in mind
The main aim of the Reveljen preschool:
"On the basis of previous knowledge and experience, to build an environmentally friendly preschool in which as many known allergenic factors as possible are eliminated and a good indoor climate is created."
Environmentally friendly and adapted to allergy sufferers, Reveljen preschool in Umeå, Sweden looks like any other. The difference is that right from the planning stage of the building process, the greatest possible consideration has been given to children with some sort of hypersensitivity such as asthma, hay fever, eczema and other allergies.
Healthy indoor environment required
It is suspected that a combination of sealed buildings, poor ventilation and building materials that emit hazardous substances into the air, are contributory factors to increased sensitivity in children. Poorly dried out building parts and badly thought-out designs lead to damp and fungal problems.
This made it necessary to come up with engineering solutions and building materials that provide a healthy indoor environment. It is most important that the children's environment is as free as possible from allergenic substances.
Requirements and targets for the indoor environment were set out in a planning document. Values were laid down for levels of carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, radon daughters and aspergillus fungus and electromagnetic field strength. Fibres and particles, hair, mites and pollen were also to be kept to the lowest possible levels.
Building materials have been selected with a strong focus on avoiding irritating substances such as organic solvents, formaldehyde, softening agents in plastic, strong smells, etc.
“The children feel better here than at home”
After five years operating the Reveljen preschool, the head comments:
"The children in the sanitised, clean areas develop resistance and gain a higher allergy threshold, handling dust, perfume and pollen better. Several of the children even feel better at the preschool than at home. It has been the case that children have had allergic reactions during the weekend but have got better during the week with us."