Tackling the Cocktail of Pollutants in Our Buildings
In a letter to Michael Gove yesterday, The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) urged the United Kingdom's Environment Secretary to tackle the “cocktail” of pollutants that lurks inside buildings by including indoor air quality (IAQ) in the forthcoming Environment Bill.
Nearly 9,500 people die early each year in London due to long-term exposure to air pollution - more than twice as many as previously thought. Furthermore, 92% of the world’s population are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution relative to international standards. The result being about 7 million deaths globally. that are related to poor quality air. It is also a significant financial strain, with over $4bn being lost in productivity and associated health costs.
In the battle to improve the internal air quality of our urban areas, autonomous buildings should have a vital role to play. These environments can help create good air quality so that people working in cities can enjoy clean air, providing peace of mind that they won’t be harming their health.
By leveraging technologies like smart filtration methods with IAQ smart sensors, as well as performance-based facilities management methods, we can find out what the levels of air pollution are both inside and outside the building, so that the ventilation process can be managed to improve air quality in the space. It is then possible to determine the best tactics for improving the quality of air inside the building.
We can harness the data from a building, analyse it, and see not only that the building can perform better in terms of making a cleaner workspace, but also overall energy efficiency, the levels and type of lighting, ventilation, etc. From there, it is also feasible to assimilate how people’s wellbeing and performance can be greatly enhanced.
Even if the indoor air quality doesn’t get included in the forthcoming environment bill, business should call on their Facilities companies now to make the necessary changes to their workspaces. In the long-run the monetary benefits will surely outweigh the initial expenditure.