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Building Services & Maintenance


grilles, for example, is very straightforward and will payback in a matter of





hours because of the immediate running cost and health benefi ts


Cleaning intake


in airtightness testing to help improve energy effi ciency, but that process can also be used to measure IAQ.





Putting solutions in place Every planned maintenance regime should include a check on air handling unit performance as well as a ductwork hygiene inspection and remedial cleaning. The new BS EN 15780 standard provides recommended inspection time periods for air systems and the revised Guide to Good Practice for ventilation system hygiene (TR/19) from the Building Engineering Services Association is adopting this guidance, which can be very helpful to FMs. BSRIA has reported a very high success


rate for building airtightness tests with 89% of 10,000 tests meeting energy effi ciency standards set out in Part L of the Building Regulations. However, it also recorded repeated problems with mechanical ventilation systems charged with ensuring these airtight buildings also benefi t from adequate ventilation rates. It suggested that most of the problems


Author information


Giuseppe Borgese


is Chairman of the Building Engineering Services Association Indoor Air Quality action group. www.b-es.org


were as a result of installation faults explained by poor training and lack of experience. This is adding to IAQ issues, rising condensation and damp problems, and the consequent impact on the respiratory health of occupants. Air fi ltration quality effi ciency also has to be addressed. Standard G3 fi lters will not necessarily deliver the level of clean air quality required; the only available recommended solution at the moment that also provides improvements at low energy are F7 fi lters. In areas with


104 FACILITIES


high NO2 levels, gas fi ltration should


be considered. However, many good fi ltration systems are compromised if the fi lters are inserted in side withdrawal mounting rails, which means the air can bypass the fi lter and travel around it. Second stage air fi lters are designed to remove smaller particles and they must be mounted in properly engineered front withdrawal mountings to ensure they can be fully sealed to ensure air does not bypass them, thus defeating the object of fi tting them in the fi rst place. Low energy air purifi ers can also be used as a room-by-room solution. Many of the remedial measures needed to improve IAQ are not expensive. Cleaning intake grilles, for example, is very straightforward and will payback in a matter of hours because of the immediate running cost and health benefi ts. Servicing and upgrading ventilation fans will also ensure the system operates more effectively as well as reducing energy costs. However, the fi rst step is to set up a process for measuring indoor pollutants. It is still rare for FMs to even consider IAQ as a threat – they tend to be more focused on maintaining comfortable temperatures and adequate lighting levels in response to occupant complaints, or on looking for ways to reduce energy consumption. But now we face a longer term and increasingly serious IAQ problem that can directly affect the health and productivity of building occupants. Recognising the threat and taking action will become increasingly valuable as the situation outside continues to deteriorate.


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