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What Is a 'Healthy Building'

27 Sep 2017

What Is a 'Healthy Building'

In the construction industry in Ireland, a question that is often asked is “What is a Healthy Building”. This sounds like an easy question to answer and to some extent it is, but what should not be ignored is how many employees work in what would be considered as a “unhealthy” building. Air systems play a huge part in providing a comfortable environment for building users and a well maintained HVAC unit is vital cog in this machine.


Disparity

According to the JRC Science Hub Report of 2016, in the year 2012, there were almost 100,000 deaths that were directly attributable to poor air quality in the workplace in lower and middle income EU member states. Compare that with 17,000 of those same incidents in high income states. Whilst this is still far too high, it is significantly lower than those experienced in poorer parts of the EU.


Loss of Life

The sad fact is that that this disparity is largely due to insufficient ventilation, which means these figures are avoidable. This problem is on a grand scale, and it is also stated in the JRC report mentioned above, that an estimated minimum of 110 million people live and work in buildings that have concentrations of toxic pollutants in them in the EU. From a human standpoint, this level is unacceptable and from a socioeconomic standpoint, it is estimated to cost the EU literally trillions of Euros.


By improving the air quality in the workplace, significant health and financial benefits will ensue and with less days missed through illness and improved working environment leading to improved performance, the virtuous effect of changes made can be felt for decades to come. The installation cost of such a move is certainly mitigated by future gains leading out of improved employee performance..

At Varming Consulting Engineers Ireland, we are committed to embracing emerging innovations in the field of sustainable building design. Concepts such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) must be embraced to achieve a better, more energy and resource efficient future.


If you would like a chat about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring, ventilation or anything relating to sustainable building design, please all us on 01 4872300 or visit our website www.varming.ie. A healthy building leads to healthy employees, which ultimately leads to a healthy company. Ignoring the problem, really isn’t an option.

 


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