Indoor air quality measurements in South African primary school classrooms of various building infrastructure types

Published: 29 November 2023| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/tys2gscdv7.3
Rita van der Walt,
, MJ Booysen


In the resource-constrained South African education sector, infrastructure which is considered as temporary or backup in other countries is used as permanent classrooms, primarily but not exclusively in lower-income areas. Children’s cognitive performance and comfort are directly impacted by indoor air quality. Temperature, relative humidity, particulate matter and CO2 levels, substantial determinants of air quality, have not been studied across different classroom types. We measure these parameters every 11 minutes in various classrooms at schools in Stellenbosch, South Africa. These classrooms consist of a range of different infrastructure types. Container classrooms with and without insulation, mobile (prefabricated) classrooms, and brick classrooms of different configurations are included. Measurements are concurrently sampled over ten months (249 days, still ongoing), across multiple seasons with relevant metadata including ambient weather conditions, school days and times, and in the (South) African context, electrical availability, which impacts air conditioning usage. This dataset provides valuable insights into true learning conditions in South African school classrooms.


Steps to reproduce

Sensing devices were deployed, integrating sensor modules to measure temperature and humidity (DHT22), CO2 (COZIR-LP-5000), and particulate matters PM1.0, PM2.5, PM10 (PMS5003). These sensing devices were deployed in various classrooms of 6 different infrastructure types (Container No Insulation, Container With Insulation, Mobile/Prefab, Brick First Floor, Brick Second Floor and Brick Single Story), which can be divided into two categories: Temporary and Permanent infrastructure. Measurements are transmitted via LoRaWAN (868 MHz) in 12-byte packets. At 11-minute intervals, sensing devices report measurements for temperature, relative humidity, CO2, PM1.0, PM2.5, PM10. Ambient weather data, school hours and school days, and electrical availability are also captured. Measurement capture is still in progress and the dataset will be updated accordingly.


Stellenbosch University


Carbon Dioxide, Indoor Environment, Building Indoor Temperature, Classroom Environment, Temperature Measurement, Fine Particulate Matter