Indoor Air Quality Monitoring
Because of Covid-19 and the potential for Airborne Transmission indoor air quality (IAQ) has been plunged into the forefront of people's minds.
Business leaders are calling on the government to make measuring and monitoring of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) mandatory in the proposed bill – specifically airborne particulates PM2.5 and below, along with CO2 levels and VOCs, which are linked to heart and lung diseases as well as certain cancers
The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) also proposes that a new bill should contain provision for measures that improve IAQ, such as filter upgrade and replacement, along with ductwork and fan maintenance, and that these must be made mandatory elements of regular service and maintenance programmes in commercial buildings.
This should be accompanied by installing Air Purification technology into AHU's and ductwork and probiotic cleaning products along with monitoring and control of air quality and mechanical ventilation systems.
Indoor Air Quality Monitoring (IAQ) is high on everyone's radar particularly those in multiple occupancy offices and there are many ways that occupants can be alerted to potential problems. IOT technology has made it possible to install small battery operated devices (such as those shown above) quickly easily and unobtrusively.
The data that can be retrieved from just one small unobtrusive device is amazing, including CO/ CO2, VOC, Volatile Organic Compounds, Temp, Humidity, Noise, Light. and these can be reported in various data formats.
There is so much evidence gathered by the medical profession that clearly shows the link between poor air quality and serious health conditions. At the same time, the building engineering sector now has a range of proven techniques that are already making a difference in many buildings.
BESA has also launched a ‘Building Safe Havens’ campaign to promote the idea of indoor clean air zones that protect occupants from the worst impacts of air pollution – reflecting the fact that most people spend an average of 90 per cent of their lives indoors.
Some Facts about air pollution
Air pollution: Particles
Some pollution items, often called PM10 or PM2.5, is composed of little bits of material from all kinds of sources including smoke from fires, exhaust fumes, cigarette smoking or the dust from brake pads on vehicles.
Air pollution: Gases
As well as particles, there are also gases. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) come mostly from burning fuels or other materials, so levels are especially high around roads.
They can also be generated by gas boilers, bonfires and other sources as well. These gases also mix with the air we breathe and are absorbed into our bodies.
Air pollution: Chemicals
Many chemicals can create indoor air pollution, including volatile organic compounds or VOCs. This is the name for a group of chemicals that start as liquids or solids, but disperse into the air easily. You can often tell if things like paints and varnishes contain these chemicals as they can leave a strong smell after use.
Air pollution: Mould
Mould tends to grow in damp places. The damp might be because of leaking pipes or roofs, but can arise from condensation. Condensation often forms in bathrooms from the use of showers or baths without adequate ventilation, in kitchens from washing up and from cooking.
The financial cost of air pollution is similar to that of obesity: air pollution costs the UK £20 billion each year.
Monitoring of Indoor Air Quality
In our workplaces where we spend most of our working lives, its easy to install proven battery powered sensors into the occupied space, that self-connect to a small cellular gateway. The system continuously monitors the air quality and whenever one of the sensors detects a deterioration from pre-agreed parameters, it sends an alert via SMS and email to that action can be taken to correct things.
In addition to these space sensors, we can also install sensors that tells the maintenance company when to change the air filters on the Air Conditioning/Ventilation system.
Full reports can be provided to ensure that Monitoring of Indoor Air Quality can be included in Business Management reports to ensure that Businesses are doing what they can to ensure worker safety.
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