From March 29th the Government’s “stay at home” message is removed. However, May is being sighted as a sensible time to reopen an office – with the social contact guidance removed on the 21st June. Many businesses are moving slowly, waiting employee confidence.
Now is the time to act and prepare your business for the new normal!
What can be done to achieve this and help ensure your colleagues feel safe coming back, as well as the now normal procedures of increased cleaning, social distancing and staggered start times are there are other steps can be implemented?
Many studies have indicated the way to lower the risk of airborne transmission in office spaces is to increase the fresh air supply in the building and a low-cost way of
monitoring this is by using Co2 sensors.
“The ambient concentration of carbon dioxide is about 410 parts per million. A concentration above approximately 800 that is an indication that you are rebreathing exhaled air and therefore other people’s aerosols. (Rudnik 2003)”
This can be achieved by opening windows where possible, increasing the fresh air supply and switching off re-circulation in Air handling units in offices. (Most AHU’s use the extract heat from buildings as an element of pre-heating to the incoming fresh air supply), also AHU’s are being asked to run outside of normal office hours to keep replacing the air in the building.
However how can you be sure that you are achieving the results required?
Historically the only way to monitor the fresh air levels in a building was by either using a building management system (BMS) if this was part of the original design concept or the use of handheld devices, however if not originally fitted the costs to retrofit the original BMS for
air quality monitoring can be cost prohibitive.
The other caveat of using the existing BMS system to monitor air quality in the space is difficulty of retrieving and presenting air quality levels to your team members to show the steps you are taking to assist safe working in their environment.
Chill Tech Solutions have the answer.
We can offer a fully fitted wireless standalone solution that can capture the required information and present it in an easily view-able format from anywhere with a PC and internet access.
Utilising LORAwan wireless sensors and 4G networks we can monitor many elements in your building including;
The advantages of using this system over the existing BMS (where fitted) are immediately apparent with much lower install costs and far quicker less intrusive site works, for example a recent installation involved fitting out a 6-storey office block with air quality sensing across
all communal areas and the site works were completed in 1 business day.
And should your BMS still be a current product we can also implement our wireless system into it directly if required.
Our wireless system can also be upgraded as required, to monitor many other different attributes including;
Server room monitoring
(there are over 200+ types of sensors that can be utilised)
With this system implemented you can see at a granular level how your building is currently performing. Together we can then confirm what steps, if any, are required to achieve the current recommended levels of fresh air in your office space to dissipate the risks of airborne
transmission as far as if practically possible. Current guidance states at least 2.5 air changes per hour are required to reduce contamination by 90% after 150 minutes and with 8 changes per hour contamination is reduced by 90% after only 20 minutes ( ECDC Ventilation guide for Public Health Authorities 10 th Nov 2020)
Prof John Wenger, director of the Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry in UCC suggests a target of 1,000 ppm if CO2 is being used as a proxy for COVID-19 in classrooms, and argues that room level transmission is “the key. It’s in the air, and it can fill a room. The amount of the virus in the air can accumulate, and we get an increased exposure. If you’re indoors, in a poorly ventilated room for a long time, then you’re at quite a high risk even if you’re distanced, because the air moves around.”
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