Indoor Air Quality: Strategies For Office Building Occupants
Studies reveal that indoor air quality can be far worse as compared to that outside a confined structure. Perhaps, it makes sense, since the air inside is also denser as compared to the air outside. Thus, increasing the number of pollutants per cubic centimeter inside a building.
Commercial buildings such as offices and institutional spaces often neglect the importance of maintaining indoor air quality. However, it is noteworthy that federal and state laws state maintaining a certain IAQ index for office and other workspaces.
What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
According to the US Green Building Council, the conditions inside a building including carbon emissions from breathing, thermal conditions, and dust and mold, all collectively define the indoor air quality.
Well, it’s pretty difficult to understand. Ain’t it? Let’s make it easier for you to understand.
The air conditions that can affect a person’s physical, mental, or emotional health such as dust, temperature, and so on, constitute IAQ.
The US Environmental Protection Agency explains that air quality not only affects health but also productivity and product quality for businesses. Quite surprisingly, every year, billions of dollars are lost due to health issues and absenteeism arising out of bad air conditions.
Well, the importance of IAQ cannot be stressed any further than this.
How Business Owners can Ensure Good IAQ?
Perhaps, you would now wish to know how you can maintain Indoor Air Quality at your facility. Keep reading to know more.
Install Air Filters
One of the easiest ways to manage indoor air quality is by filtering the air inside. Yes, there are plenty of air filters that help remove harmful pollutants from the air.
When buying an air filter, you must consider the air-flow, usually defined in cubic meters of air passing through the filter per minute. Besides, you must also consider the size of the area where you wish to install air filters. Larger areas would usually require higher airflow and high-efficiency filters.
Plan Thermal Devices
The next thing that you can do is install heaters and air conditioning units. However, you must keep in mind that you install them outside of the building.
For example, if you’re thinking of installing a gas heater, you need to ensure better ventilation for the heater. Experts recommend that a UDAP unit heater be installed either on the rooftop or at the back of the building. The point here is to ensure minimal traffic around the unit.
Well, this is pretty obvious, but still mentioning it makes sense. Especially, if you have a manufacturing or production facility, you must ensure proper ventilation.
It not only helps remove the polluted air but also brings in fresh air from the outside. Moreover, proper ventilation systems can also help lower the energy costs for maintaining indoor temperature.
The least of all that you can do is ensure regular maintenance of the equipment in your workspace. It could be anything from manufacturing machinery to your HVAC unit, or your furniture items too.
Undermaintained equipment tends to release more effluents into the air. For example, an undermaintained HVAC unit will release more carbon into the air than a maintained one.
When it comes to indoor air quality, commercial buildings are at a higher risk of poor conditions. And likewise, proper education and awareness strategies need to be followed to mitigate the risks involved.
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Source: The Architects Diary