Health & Safety

Wireless Monitoring for a Safe Indoor Environment - Gareth Wyn Evans

Nov 29 2010

Author: Gareth Wyn Evans on behalf of PPM Technology

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In striving for the construction of energy efficient and cost-effective buildings, the imperative issue of the buildings Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is often overlooked.
This can often lead to an unhealthy indoor environment and even to conditions such as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) or other Building Related Illesses (BRI).

A wireless monitoring system can ensure that almost any type of building is safe from the effects of poor Indoor Air Quality; IAQ is a major concern to businesses, building managers, tenants and employees because it can impact the health, comfort, well being and productivity of the building occupants.

This is especially important in industries where people spend a lot of time indoors – for example, many office workers will spend their entire working day inside a building. Healthy, comfortable employees are invariably more satisfied and productive. Measurement and monitoring of hazardous gases is a critical issue in industrial and workplace safety, conventionally worker safety has been concerned with acute levels of airborne pollutants, today there is also mounting concern about the affect of long-term exposure to low levels of pollutants.

There are many factors that can lead to an unhealthy Indoor Air Environment including poor or inadequate ventilation, airborne and chemical pollutants, Ozone emissions from printers and photocopiers, High concentrations of Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC’s), Formaldehyde and pollution from external sources (e.g. fumes). In the past few decades, energy conservation measures have led to airtight building construction that can create problems with IAQ. Frequently the ventilation systems are set to minimise the amount of fresh air entering and circulating within the building. This restriction impacts indoor air allowing a build up of air contaminants within the building that are not properly removed.

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