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The CFP Guide to UK Building Air Quality Part 3: Long-Term Strategy Review and Clean Air Technology

Posted on march 12, 2021 by admin in CFP News

The CFP Guide to UK Building Air Quality

Part 3:  Long-Term Strategy Review and Clean Air Technology

Welcome back to the final part of the CFP guide to UK building air quality.  As specialists in air filtration technology, we know that a lifecycle approach is key to ensuring clean air in buildings.  Each of the steps we have discussed is part of this lifecycle.  Step one and two focused on the initial assessment of external quality and defining benchmarks in the form of an Indoor Air Quality Plan (IAQ), based on the levels found.  Step three moved onto the systematic measuring of indoor air quality, and step four was about managing the risks identified.  In this part, we will look at how businesses can learn from the data and risks gathered so far with a view to building a case for new clean air technology (step five) and its implementation (step six).  This helps businesses move from a more reactive approach to indoor air quality to one, which is always planning ahead and taking advantage of the latest developments in clean air technology.

Step 5) Building a case for clean air technology

Up to now, the goal has been to repeatedly assess indoor air quality and to put in place measures where problems are identified.  Step five is about taking your long-term air quality data and risk assessments to plan for a long-term clean air strategy.  Depending on the age and effectiveness of your current building air systems, you may need to plan for a wholesale replacement over a number of months or years, or you may simply need to improve what you have.  In step four you may have replaced some air filters in response to poor air quality in areas of your business, but in step five, you have an opportunity to look at your overall air filtration strategy.  This may lead to the development of a business case for:

  • A high-efficiency air filtration solution – the newest systems are highly effective in halting the flow of pathogens (e.g. infectious droplets which transmit viruses) and dangerous particles into and around buildings.  Viruses droplets are trapped indefinitely in the fibres of the air filter, where they eventually become inactive. 
  • Putting in place new filter technology of a higher classification – this is an added measure to further increase the level of air filtration to trap even the smallest h contaminants such as bacteria, chemicals, fungi, gases, moulds, pollens, viruses, yeasts, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Any plans for new or updated air cleaning technology need to be considered in the context of the cost of the energy required to run them, their effectiveness in mitigating known and emerging contaminants (such as new viruses), ease and cost of maintenance, and the lifespan of replaceable filters. 

Another aspect of building a business case is taking into account the potential number of lost days of work due to poor indoor air quality leading to illness.  This can be difficult to quantify, but by maximising the level of indoor air quality across your operations, it is reasonable to assume that productivity and business continuity benefits will be realised.

Step 6) Implementing new clean air technology

The final stage of the lifecycle for indoor air quality is putting in place the technology and solutions identified and justified in step five.  Depending on the size of your business and given the costs and resources available, you may decide to phase the implementation of new clean air technology across your operations on a priority basis, based on the levels of air quality identified in step three, and the risk management measures you have already put in place in step four. 

It is always advisable to leverage the expertise of businesses specialising in air quality and filtration.  Finding a supplier with the scale, knowledge, and availability of parts and components is key, as is ensuring they are available on-demand when needed.  Concept Filter Products will be able to advise you from the outset on the configuration, specification, and best practice for the implementation of new air filter technology across your business.  We are well versed in managing the phased implementation of new air filters and putting in place a robust maintenance and replacement plan, which means your indoor quality remains consistently within specification.   

Wrapping up

High indoor air quality does not happen by accident; it requires careful planning, measurement, risk management, strategy, and investment.  Air filtration technology has now advanced to the point where pathogens and viruses which historically would have circulated within buildings, can now be trapped and prevented from causing harm.  COVID-19 is a timely reminder that all businesses need to prepare for future risks, and while we don’t yet know when the next pandemic may arrive, there is a great business owners can do to manage the risk to their people and investments. 

 

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