SACRAMENTO – Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 2232 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) a bill supported by SMART and CAL SMACNA to require California schools to ensure facilities and classrooms have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that meet minimum ventilation rate requirements. It also requires the installation of filtration that achieves minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) levels of 13 or higher. AB 2232 will require comprehensive HVAC inspections and ongoing CO2 monitors in classrooms to ensure California students and teachers are being provided fresh air. 

AB 2232 also requires the California Building Standards Commission and the Division of the State Architect to research, develop, and propose a mandatory standard for carbon dioxide monitors in classrooms. 

HVAC isn’t just about comfort anymore.  This bill recognizes HVAC mechanical systems are an actual priority for the health and well-being of students and teachers.  Occupants in energy efficient school buildings with sealed building envelopes rely upon properly operating mechanical ventilation systems.  Maintenance and upkeep of these systems are often neglected or under prioritized by school administrators during budget considerations thus creating invisible but significant challenges to the health and performance of their students.

CAL SMACNA appreciates the Legislature and Governor for openly recognizing the health and performance of our schools depend upon properly functioning HVAC mechanical ventilation systems. This bill marks a sea-change in a more complete understanding of the benefits and challenges of modern building systems.

CAL SMACNA’s “California School Reopening Ventilation and Energy Efficiency Verification and Repair Program” has created a reliable list of qualified mechanical, service and TAB contractors to provide these ventilation assessments, certification and repairs across the state.