Indoor Air Quality
We live in a time when there is a heightened awareness of the perils of poor air quality and the potential for airborne infection at the office. In addition, there is a large body of research showing that poor IAQ negatively affects work and school performance and health.
Societal trends of rising affluence of the middle class, increased population density in cities, introduction of new synthetic materials, have led to greater intensity of exposure to indoor air pollution (IAP). So-called “green building” standards for energy conservation have not always been effective in reducing the deterioration of indoor air quality. However, innovations in air distribution, air cleaning, controls for indoor HVAC systems, and room sensor systems which use algorithms to optimize indoor air quality with employee performance indicators are important advancements.
User engagement, and democratizing access to data and insights by building occupants will give employees better insights and control over their work and work patterns, helping them make better choices to support their well-being. When combined with such innovations, these technologies may usher in the next important model of achieving good IAQ beyond the current definitions of acceptability from population-based criteria to one that supports individual choice.
Placing furniture, storage boxes, chairs, or cabinets in front air vents will disrupt air circulation, causing the workplace to feel stuffy. Indoor plants are also a great addition to your office. They are not only refreshing to the eyes but can also help promote your indoor air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air. However, keep in mind that plants can also bring unwanted pollens and other airborne irritants along with them.
Carpets can play multiple roles in the workplace – from capturing particulate matter from the air and absorbing sound to supporting design and branding schemes and creating a welcoming work environment. Carpet tile is available that captures and retains particulate matter, helping to improve indoor air quality for employees. This carpet technology can capture both particulate matter (< 10 μm) and coarser fine dust. The carpet’s unique structure prevents dust from becoming airborne again once captured yet releases easily during cleaning.
Performing an indoor air testing will provide you with the right information and insights to make your IAQ improvement plan more directed and efficient. Air quality tests include checking humidity levels, airflow, ventilation, mold growth, odors, and water damage. New technology is emerging that permits real-time sensing of ambient conditions allowing immediate action to correct problems.
If you want to learn more, we suggest the following resources: