As consumers and companies become more environmentally aware, their product choice shifts toward newer, sustainable technologies. In the field of architecture, this is best expressed in the rising trend of greener materials, designs, and buildings.
While this approach is beneficial to both the environment and businesses, green buildings tend to have less ventilation, which adversely affects indoor air quality unless measures such as air filters and air purifiers are used. Here are some reasons why these measures are important.
What Are The Factors Involved In Indoor Air Quality?
Some metrics used in determining the quality of air in an enclosed space are:
- Pollutant and odor sources
- Building design and maintenance
- Ventilation system operation
- Moisture and humidity
- Occupant perception and susceptibilities
It’s Mandated By Law
All employers are required by law to provide a healthy work environment. This entails maintaining reasonable temperatures, providing adequate space, and meeting minimum air quality standards which requires that enclosed areas need to have adequate ventilation. The fresh air supply rate in the workplace must be at five to eight liters of fresh air per second. The law also requires that mechanical ventilation systems are regularly maintained, inspected, and repaired if need be.
Also, not all industries are held to the same standards. In an industrial workplace, workers are exposed to a higher number of harmful fumes that are also more dangerous than those in the office setting. These industries are held to stricter standards and are also required to perform regular risk assessments and require more maintenance.
It Can Affect the Health of Your Team Members
Poor air quality means that your office space has a higher number of air pollutants such as bacteria and allergens. While most people with healthy lungs are only going to be irritated at most, these pollutants can become a real danger to those who have respiratory issues such as asthma. In extreme cases, poor air quality can also lead to skin and eye irritation, headaches, sinus infections, and the loss of consciousness.
Poor air circulation can also increase the risk of bacterial and viral infections in the workplace. This is especially harmful to your business considering the impact that the recent COVID-19 virus has had on every business.
It Hurts Employee Productivity
When team members aren’t in good health, they’re not going to be able to perform their roles properly. A study by the American Psychological Association found that long-term exposure to polluted air causes a significant decline in cognitive functions.
Studies have also been made to simulate the office environment and the results are the same – that Carbon Dioxide levels of 600 to 5000ppm (parts per million) can significantly impair cognitive functions. This is especially true for industrial workplaces that have more harmful fumes than the average office.
It also follows that poor employee health will also lead to employee absenteeism.
Ensuring that your work environment has a good IAQ rating is important and not just for the sake of compliance. Controlling air quality is a matter of removing air pollutants from the building, diluting them through ventilation, and by using filtration systems to rid the air of pollutants.