Sunday, July 3

More Madrid will register a law to maintain thermal comfort in classrooms in the heat of the heat wave

In the midst of a heat wave, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees in the Community, Más Madrid will present a bill on bioclimatic classrooms this Tuesday in the Assembly. The objective is to guarantee thermal comfort in educational centers in the region, where some have reached 38 degrees this day, and promote efficient energy use in schools and institutes.

With this standard, Más Madrid intends to “improve the thermal and environmental conditions of educational centers in Madrid, through the development of certain actions that contain the application of bioclimatic techniques and renewable energies” to “guarantee the conditions of habitability and thermal comfort in the infrastructures of the educational system in a way that is respectful and sustainable with the environment and occupational health”, according to the text to which has had access.

Although it is a proposal that comes in the midst of a heat wave, the objective is “to prepare the educational centers of the Community of Madrid: both for the high temperatures that we experience on days like these with increasingly frequent and intense heat waves and for casualties in winter with storms like Filomena”, says the spokesperson for the group Mónica García. “While Madrid burns and the health of Madrid men and women is at risk, Ayuso looks the other way from the comfort of the air conditioning of his official car and his office,” she laments.

The law contemplates several axes of action. The first responds to the need to carry out energy audits of bioclimatic conditioning in educational centers to know both their energy demand and the measures to be carried out in them. From there, the public entities that own the buildings where public education is taught must prepare a Bioclimatic and Renewable Conditioning Plan.

In addition, the text addresses energy efficiency, with training in management, teams of professionals to advise the centers and a 50/50 program, for savings both in the schools and institutes themselves and in the administration, in equal parts. In addition, it includes the preparation of a technical guide for the adaptation and bioclimatic environmental rehabilitation and the use of renewable energies, prepared by the Energy Foundation of the Community of Madrid and mandatory. It also claims conditioning with vegetation and trees outdoors.

Another line of action is to maintain the temperature in the classrooms between 17 and 24 degrees in winter and between 23 and 27 degrees in summer, through the use of construction techniques, specific materials, high performance techniques or the use of renewable energy. Precisely, this same Monday, the Teaching Federation of the CCOO of Madrid has denounced that at 10 in the morning temperatures of up to 38 degrees had been reached and demanded that the Ministry “urgent and extraordinary measures” and that “it allows the centers to take decisions that guarantee the well-being of students and teaching and educational teams”.

The spokeswoman for Education of Más Madrid in the Assembly, María Pastor, demanded to know “what the Government has done to mitigate the effects of the heat wave in educational centers and thus protect the health of vulnerable populations, such as children and girls”. “The denialism of the PP puts our health and our future at risk. What we need is not to remove the climate crisis from the textbooks, but a courageous commitment to remove the climate crisis from our lives and mitigate its effects. It is urgent to take measures to protect us from these episodes and to guarantee the health of students and teachers”, assured the deputy spokesperson.

In the plenary session last Thursday, the Madrid Assembly already debated a proposal presented by this group for the creation of climate shelters in libraries, study centers or schools, which was rejected with the votes against the PP and Vox. The PP spokesman himself, Pedro Muñoz Abrines, assured then that to speak of “climate shelters” or “climate emergency” was to use “apocalyptic” language. However, the effects of climate change are already noticeable in the increase in frequency and intensity of heat waves. Since 1975, 10 episodes of extreme heat have been recorded in Spain, five of them since 2011 and one more this year. That of this month of June is the second earliest since there are records, along with that of 1981, which also began on June 11.

Despite this refusal of the right to his latest proposal, the formation of Mónica García hopes that the law of bioclimatic classrooms will have better luck. In 2020, the Junta de Andalucía unanimously approved a regulation for “the improvement of the thermal and environmental conditions of Andalusian public educational centers, through the development of certain actions that contain the application of bioclimatic techniques and renewable energies”. “It is a pioneering law in the Community of Madrid that was already supported in Andalusia by the Popular Party. We would not understand that Ayuso rejected it more than because of the sheer fanaticism that Más Madrid presented it”, indicates García.

In the case of the Community, Más Madrid entrusts the financing of this law to a multi-year investment program, which covers energy audits, corrective measures, staff training and the preparation of technical guides. In the case of the concerted private centers, it proposes the creation of an office to advise them in the search for financing. In a medium-term horizon, from the formation they establish the year 2030 as a goal in which educational buildings have almost zero energy consumption if they follow the measures established in this proposal.

According to the Passivhaus Building Platform school monitoring study, Spanish students “study in inadequate comfort conditions for 84% of the time, that is, five out of every six hours they spend in schools.” They also do so “regardless of the climatic zone” and have “very low periods of time with adequate levels of comfort and indoor environmental quality” that range “between 11.5% in the worst case and 20.5 % in the least bad”.

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