Real Benefits, Real Simple
- Scientific Assessment of Indoor Air
- Reduces day to day running costs
- Reduces chemicals on site
- Removal of Pollutants
- Reduces annual chemical cleaning costs
for coils (system pays for itself)
- Ensures compliance with AS 1668 and 3666
- Improve employee health
- Improve working environment
- Improve customers experience
- Reduce risk of widespread employee illness
- Hygienic production environment
What is Sick Building Syndrome (S.B.S)
In our modern times, a substantial percentage of the population in urban and suburban areas spends most of their days in enclosed spaces. Hence the increasing importance of indoor air quality. 40 years ago data began to be published that reported people who worked in office buildings had been developing headaches, sore throats, and chronic fatigue, among others. In the coming decade, we found these symptoms developing more frequently in hermetic buildings. We came to label these as cases of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). When you are feeling poorly we usually attribute it to the flu or an infection. However, the culprit behind it could be something as innocuous as your building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
The International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy estimates that poor air quality from sick buildings increases job losses by 5%. Sick buildings can lead to work absenteeism, but it also decreases productivity, since employees usually find themselves ill or unmotivated in the workplace, usually due to respiratory ailments. Low-quality HVAC systems can be a risk factor due to cross-contamination between the air supply and the air extraction. Lack of maintenance or inadequate design can be a leading contributor towards SBS, especially when the outdoor air quality is low or there is too much air re circulation. Complaints can be localised to one particular room or office, or may be widespread throughout the building. Causes of sick building syndrome can be related back to biological contaminants such as bacteria, moulds, pollen and viruses. Here at Australian Air Quality Systems, our highly qualified design team can offer tailored design and installation of UV and other options that can be greatly beneficial to address the current buildings contaminants.
- Through fresh air intakes on the air conditioning system
- Through open doors and windows
- Transmitted from building occupants or visitors
- Growth of mould and bacteria within an air handling unit
- Difficulty concentrating
- Eye, nose and throat irritation.
- Muscle aches
- Upper repertory congestion
Just because you cannot see the mould does not mean that it is not there in concentration levels of concern
Indoor Air Quality for Health Facilities
A health facility’s HVAC system is designed to perform several tasks: filter, cool, heat, humidify, dehumidify, pressurise, and/or exhaust. Each of these tasks affects indoor air quality. For example, if incoming air is not properly filtered, excessive dust from the outdoors is drawn into the building. If supplied air is not conditioned or heated satisfactorily, occupants may experience thermal discomfort. If supplied air is not dehumidified appropriately, excessive relative humidity levels may promote microbial growth. If patient isolation rooms are not properly pressurised, unwanted airborne transmission of pathogenic bacteria may occur. If airborne chemicals are not properly exhausted from laboratories, these chemicals may migrate into non-laboratory spaces. These are just a few examples of how the performance of the HVAC system can affect indoor air quality.
Healthcare facilities have to pay particular care and attention to indoor air concerns. People with pre-existing health problems who are going through treatment and those who may have depressed immune systems are very susceptible to indoor air exposures. Three key three factors make attention to indoor air quality particularly important in health care settings.
- 1. Patients at risk: healthcare facilities house many persons with heightened susceptibility to infections, respiratory distress, and other problems associated with air contaminants
- 2. Occupant density: Because the density of people in health care settings is relatively high, at risk patients are likely to be in close proximity to infectious individuals.
- 3. Ageing systems: Many hospitals are ageing and their ventilation systems are outdated and are in serious need of maintenance and repair.
Water leakage, poor ventilation, and utility outages also increase the probability of initiating fungal growths in the building system. Biological contaminants such as bacteria, mould, and viruses can breed in water that has gradually accumulated in ducts, humidifiers and drain pans of the ventilation system; or water that has collected on ceiling tiles, carpeting, or insulation. This is particularly a problem in older buildings that may have broken fans or other maintenance problems. Such maintenance problems may be common since many healthcare facilities are always looking for ways to save money.
To effectively address mechanical system concerns, Australian Air Quality Systems should be contacted to determine the corresponding indoor air quality issues. Several common mechanical systems concepts (such as building pressurisation, moisture, filtration, and local exhaust) are reviewed and assessed.
Indoor Air Quality for Education Facilities
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a concern in many schools due in part to the age and poor condition of a number of school buildings. School IAQ is particularly important as it may affect the health, performance and comfort of school staff and students.
Managing IAQ in schools presents unique challenges. Unlike managing other building, managing schools involves the responsibility for public funds and child safety issues. In addition, occupants are close together. Typical schools have approximately four times as many occupants as an office building with the same amount of floor space. Schools frequently have a large number of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment, which places added strain on maintenance staff. As schools add space, the operation and maintenance of each addition are often different. Schools sometimes use rooms, portable classrooms, or buildings that were not originally designed to service the unique requirements of schools.
To effectively address IAQ concerns at schools and education facilities, Australian Air Quality Systems should be contacted to determine the corresponding indoor air quality issues. Several common mechanical systems concepts (such as building pressurisation, moisture, filtration, and local exhaust) are reviewed and assessed.
If you are having an issue with your building/s or facilities, let us investigate this problem for you.