Improve indoor air quality or reduce environmental impact? – The vicious cycle.
With the term “well-being” frequently popping up throughout the FM industry, complying with standards such as BREEAM and LEED, coupled with the launch of the WELL Building Standard and Fitwel Certification System, it is no surprise that members of facilities management are under a lot of pressure to demonstrate their pro-active approach, when taking care of their occupants.
But of course, all of this comes at a price!
Last month, Britain was issued with a ‘final warning’ from the European Commission after failing to meet the EU air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide since 2010. The largest contributors to these pollution levels are diesel exhaust fumes and factories. At a seminar I attended this week, a City of London Air Quality Manager stated, “Out of all UK deaths throughout the year, 9,000 of those are related to air pollution”. Public Heath England stated in 2015, that particulate air pollution attributes to 7% of all deaths in both City of London and Westminster, and London recently breached its annual air pollution limit for 2017 in just five days.
The majority of offices throughout the UK now have mechanical HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems to improve indoor air quality and the well-being of their occupants.
The production and energy costs for the maintenance of these HVAC systems can be quite startling. With ‘new and improved’ filters, units, systems, (you name it!) constantly emerging on the market, the production line is on the rise. Some of our customers spend a small fortune to create the perfect office environment. But didn’t I mention that factories were one of the largest contributors to air pollution? And how are these goods transported to site?
We all know that we need to improve our environment, both indoors and outside. The question lies, how to break the vicious cycle?