Saubere Luft ist ein wertvolles Gut

30. Juni 2021 – 3 Min

The UK economy is suffering at the hands of Coronavirus. To recover from the protracted lockdown, we must embark upon large-scale reopening of business.

It’s widely accepted that personal contact and face-to-face brainstorming stimulate innovation and change, as well as championing corporate culture. Most companies, therefore, want their staff to come back into the fold, at least on a part time basis, so that their bricks-and-mortar tangible assets can again add value to the bottom line.

Der Widerstand wächst

But workers are resisting companies’ attempts to lure them back into the office and, in the USA, it’s even suggested that some employees will kündigen würden, anstatt die Heimarbeit aufzugeben. That may be a stretch, but for many who do want to come back, albeit with a balance between office and home working, reassurance is critical. Just as people expect pure water from the tap, hygienic food from the shops, and sanitary office facilities, they also now expect clean air at their place of work. 

The anxiety is understandable, as the latest advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health & Safety Executive places far greater emphasis on Covid-19 transmission from inhaled airborne droplets, rather than from touching contaminated surfaces. If companies are to reap value from their office space, clean air needs to be top of the facilities management agenda.

Simple air quality solution

The pursuit of clean air may give companies a headache, caught between the remit of their own company and that of their property managing agent. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. It is relatively easy to measure air quality and determine if there’s a gap between existing workplace air quality and that recommended by the WHO and UK SAGE Committee

Die WHO empfiehlt, dass ein Luftreiniger eingesetzt werden sollte, um die Lücke zwischen dem Mindestbedarf an Litern pro Person und Sekunde und der vorhandenen Lüftung zu schließen. Unternehmen können tragbare Luftreiniger einsetzen, ohne die Bausubstanz des Gebäudes zu beeinträchtigen. In Verbindung mit HLK-Systemen können diese problemlos die optimale kumulative Luftwechselrate pro Stunde erreichen.

Technology matters

With many air purifier devices on the market, management may need more guidance. The SAGE committee provides that in its November 2020 report on air cleaning devices to combat SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Two technologies are recommended, fibrous filtration (HEPA) and germicidal UV (UVC), which together trap and destroy Coronavirus. SAGE also stresses the importance of independent laboratory testing to ensure efficacy and avoid any side effects, such as respiratory problems or skin irritation. 

Further evidence of the efficacy of HEPA filtration and UVC light is available from trusted sources.  The diameter of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been found to range between 50 nm to 140 nm, or 0.05 to 0.14 microns und Untersuchungen der NASA proves that HEPA filters are most efficient at capturing ultrafine particles below 0.3 microns in size, as well as larger particles. The larger sizes are arguably more important as the virus is carried in airborne aerosol droplets, over 10 microns in size, that protect it from evaporation. 
Having trapped the virus, it must then be destroyed: a recent study by the Henry Ford Health System shows that UVC light is effective for killing Covid-19 on N95 respirators. Since the threshold for Covid-19 infection is estimated at only 300 virus particles, whereas an inhaled viral infection typically requires 1,950 to 3,000 virus particles,  the case for air purification is even stronger.

Added value beyond Covid

Clean air will play a vital role in bringing people back to the office. While it’s hard to put a value on the financial contribution gained from collaboration and innovation, there are studies that demonstrate the benefits of reduced absenteeism, sustained health and increased productivity that directly result from clean air.

In den USA verursacht schlechte Luftqualität krankheitsbedingte Kosten in Höhe von 150 Milliarden US-Dollar pro Jahr. Davon entfallen 93 Mrd. Dollar auf Produktivitätsverluste aufgrund von Kopfschmerzen, Müdigkeit und andere Probleme im Zusammenhang mit dem Sick-Building-Syndrom. Der World Green Building Council berichtet, dass Arbeitgeber nach der Reinigung der Innenraumluft eine Steigerung der Produktivität am Arbeitsplatz um bis zu 11 % festgestellt haben. In einer Harvard-Studie wurde nachgewiesen, dass bei besserer Luftqualität die kognitiven Leistungen, einschließlich Krisenreaktion, strategisches Denken und Konzentration, in neun Funktionsbereichen um 61 % höher waren.

Clean air is undervalued.  While it may not make the balance sheet, it should be part of the employer brand. ‘Goodwill’ has long been acknowledged as an intangible asset, but it’s  outward looking. In the current Covid climate, the health & safety of internal stakeholders counts more than ever. Their goodwill and return to the office hinge on it.

As published in Business Post, June 2021

#airpurifier asset cleanair CleanOfficeAir employee Gesundheit und Sicherheit indoorairquality Rensair wellbeing

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