Case Study 4 - International school adopts multi-phased plan to assess and improve Indoor Environment

Client: Shanghai Community International School (SCIS)

Problem: Indoor Air Quality

Solution: XJM Air filtration units, upgrading fresh air systems with PM2.5 filtration


  1. Since 2012, SCIS has been engaged in a long term partnership with PureLiving to assess, fix and maintain a superior level of indoor air quality.
  2. Responding to parents’ concerns about indoor air pollution in China SCIS actively engaged the community to help parents and faculty understand the solution timeline
  3. A comprehensive testing was completed of all campuses to build a picture of the current state of the IAQ.  Based on the findings, a comprehensive air filtration solution was implemented to create a long lasting healthy indoor environment.

Why is the Air a Problem?

PM2.5 is particulate matter that is smaller than 2.5 microns in size. These particles are so small that when breathed in, they can become absorbed through the lungs, infiltrating the blood supply which can lead to illness and disease.  Combined with lack of enforcement for ventilation standards, indoor air can become overly polluted with carbon dioxide and chemical emissions.

Project Goals

PureLiving was tasked to provide a deliverable solution within 4 weeks that met the following criteria:

-       To be non-visible and not intrude on classroom space

-       Met or exceeded US EPA  standard for healthy air: <35ug/m3

-       To provide total coverage  to all areas of the school, including gyms and libraries


1.       Conducted full indoor environmental assessment across all five campuses as part of an overall “health check”, including air, water, lead, mold, and allergens.  Included was a comparison of indoor and outdoor measurements to determine what level of protection the building is providing against outdoor PM pollution.

2.       Town hall meetings were held at each campus to explain the results of the testing and help answer parents and faculty questions. Widespread misinformation about indoor air quality and best practices was corrected.

3.      A comprehensive air filtration solution was designed, comprised of XJM recirculating purifiers, upgrades to the existing room air conditioners, and central HVAC filtration on the fresh air system.  All campuses were retrofitted before the end of 2013.  When the semester started students and faculty were able to enjoy indoor air quality that exceeded the US EPA standard  of <35ug/m3 

 4.       Continuing SCIS’s commitment to indoor air quality, the school has purchased indoor air quality monitors which relay real-time air quality measurements and are looking to further roll out filtration strategy’s to the schools’ bus fleet. In development is an outdoor monitoring station which will be able to feed accurate levels of outdoor PM2.5 at the campus site.SCIS-PureLiving

Project Results

In less than 30 minutes the units were able to reduce levels of PM2.5 by as much as 94% at the filter outlet, 81% in ambient classroom space. Throughout the school campuses the XJM system is installed in all essential student areas. In areas where XJM installation was not applicable, filtration was retrofitted into the existing fresh air system to reduce PM2.5 pollution from entering the building. Altogether, by providing a combination of XJM filtration and filtration to existing systems, SCIS has achieved a safe and healthy indoor environment.

PureLiving has continued to provide indoor air quality consultancy services to SCIS offering community talks, staff training, discounted air and water filters for SCIS members, air quality policy guidance, and technology assessments. With a constant turnover of students, families and faculty, SCIS now enjoys a long term partner in providing a clean and healthy indoor environment for them all.