In office buildings, employees’ salaries account for 84% of building operation costs. The financial benefits of improving indoor air quality (IAQ) in the workplace exceed building utility and maintenance costs.
5 facts on improving indoor air quality
- Better IAQ increases productivity in offices by 10% thanks to higher air supply rate and appropriate filter maintenance.
- Polaroid managed to reduce sick leave by 35% and save 400$ per employee by upgrading buildings HVAC Systems, equalling close to 1,5Million $ total savings per year.
- According to an Australian study, improving IAQ reduces sick leave rate by 39% and costs by 44%.
- Better IAQ improves schoolchildren reading test results by 13%
- Improving by 1% productivity with better ventilation system can save between 20 to 60€/m2, with benefit to cost ratio of 9.4 (productivity/HVAC investment, Energy and maintenance cost). Payback time was less than 2 years.
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How to improve IAQ ?
1. Indoor pollutants source emission control
2. Appropriate ventilation system design and improvement
3. Air filter selection at air inlets according to EN13779
4. Additional molecular filtration or air cleaning for specific locations and pollutions
Outdoor air pollution infiltrates into buildings. Without appropriate ventilation, it accumulates and can even react with other indoor air pollutants. Indoor air pollution is made of outdoor air pollutants, including heating and traffic particles and gases that infiltrate into our buildings.
Health impact of air pollution
Air pollution, both outdoors and indoors, impact on health results from acute or chronicle exposure. It causes or aggravates eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, respiratory diseases or asthma, impairs lung function and children lung development. Recent research confirmed PM and O3 can cause cardiovascular diseases. PM can cause lung cancer and impact endocrine system and brain function and development. In fact WHO confirmed in 2013 diesel engines exhausts cause cancer.
To “keep the city out”, Camfil recommends products like its Hi-Flo™ series of filters high particle removal efficiency and air filters like City-Flo XL™, CityCarb™, City-Flo™ and CitySorb™ to maintain high IAQ in buildings situated along streets and roads with heavy traffic. “City” filters effectively control ozone and semi-volatile organic compounds (sVOCs), including PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from outdoor air and internal source pollutants outgassed by materials. In addition to their high energy-efficiency and ratings for removing sVOCs and ozone, City filters require no modifications to air handling units for installation.