IAQ in a Post-Covid-19 World
Health, Safety & Environment, The Indoor Environment, Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning (HVAC)
As the United Kingdom marks Clean Air Day 2021, Mark Bouldin, project operations manager and healthy buildings expert at Johnson Controls, explains why now is the time to focus on indoor air quality (IAQ).
This Clean Air Day, we need to put the spotlight on indoor air quality, not just outdoor. After all, if you had the choice of breathing clean air for 90% of the time or 10% of the time, which would you choose? There’s no denying how important tackling air pollution and air quality outside is, but for too long this has been the sole focus of government targets. We spend 22 hours a day inside – so indoor air quality needs the same attention.
The impact of the pandemic has put the air we breathe much higher on priority lists. Clean air is something every workplace, school, and hospital must now provide. But clean air is essential beyond reducing the spread of COVID-19, and it must remain a priority once the pandemic is over.
The impact of clean air indoors is huge. Excessive CO2 levels lead to fatigue, while buildings with a constant clean air flow make employees 11 per cent more productive, research shows. Poor indoor air flow also allows all manner of viruses to linger – for businesses this means employees getting ill and taking days off work, once again impacting business productivity. Overall, the business case for improving indoor air quality is apparent – not to mention the impact on wellbeing for workplaces, hospitals, schools and more.
The onus is firmly on business leaders to implement the solutions that will make clean air indoors a reality. Businesses that invest in clean air technology today will improve the health of occupants and improve productivity and experience. This will give us a head start in addressing the health of our planet and its people. Simply put, prioritising the places we spend most of our time is not just smart. It's essential.