Rethinking indoor air

No longer should ventilation be an after-thought. With Australia currently at the start of its ninth COVID wave occupants need assurance that the air they breathe is clean.

Here are four ways forward to optimise indoor air quality with engineering controls:

  1. Assess your current ventilation system as part of HVAC, is functioning as designed
  2. Consider what activities generate pollutants inside and also outside the building
  3. Evaluate your options to improve effectiveness: maximise outdoor air (mechanical and natural) where and when needed, upgrade and maintain air filtration, and/or potentially reduce occupancy rates
  4. Plan your path forward to operate a safe and more comfortable working environment for occupants

Engineering controls are just one layer of a well-constructed protection scheme for an occupational hygienist professional to consider.

The main incentive for facilities considering air recirculation is energy savings; however, recirculated air still requires conditioning and filtering, along with increased fan power associated with filtering. Therefore, energy savings may not be as great as anticipated.

The approach of reducing air change rates through air quality monitoring, significantly addresses the issue of energy savings. The main concern with air recirculation is cross-contamination between rooms.

Reference: addendum to the CCAC guidelines on laboratory animal facilities – characteristics, design and development.

For a free, no-obligation discussion of your building and needs, email John or call 07 5619 3747.