Air quality, key when returning to the office

September 2021 | News

The  Gaia by Actiu® intelligent platform has been installed in the company's facilities in the Castalla Technology Park since before the summer, providing data on the use and physical conditions of the workspace at all times.

Environmental indicators, the use of space and air quality are just some of the parameters that are constantly being recorded, thanks to installed sensors and algorithms that convert this data into tangible knowledge that allows decisions to be made that can improve the health and well-being of the people who use these spaces in their day-to-day life. This system results in the optimisation of the space and the energy efficiency of organisations.

At this time, Gaia has demonstrated its efficiency and the value it brings to the work environments at Actiu, offering a response to the Evidence-Based-Design concept, a method that combines qualitative and quantitative analysis and that can help define the importance of certain spaces, to what extent they are being used and what the expectations and needs are of those who use them.

Faced with a recent episode of haze from North Africa, Gaia by Actiu® has provided the necessary information to react to this meteorological phenomenon that occurs in the atmosphere and is characterised by the presence of suspended dust and sand particles.

Haze is made up of aluminosilicates (aluminium oxide and silica), clay, gypsum, calcite and other minerals, in addition to containing microscopic particles of other bacteria, fungi, pollen and pollutants from North African industries. This combination creates a hazy environment that can cause irritation and respiratory problems.

When this episode occurred, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 indicators for suspended particles were triggered at Actiu, recorded by the Gaia by Actiu® intelligent platform. In some studies, it has been shown that certain pathogenic elements tend to adhere to these particles when they occur in a high concentration, facilitating the transmission of contagious diseases. By measuring their level, the need for more frequent ventilation can be identified.

The level of PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles registered by Gaia by Actiu® increased from a daily average of 0.56 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre) to 6-7 μg/m3. Despite remaining below the recommended level of 20 μg/m3 , this increase in just a few hours was considerable.

The data collected allowed Actiu to act quickly to guarantee optimal air quality within its facilities. In this sense, the first decision taken by the Facility Management Department was to activate the ventilation systems to prevent the level of these particles from continuing to rise. In this regard, the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers that the maximum level to which a person should be exposed is 50 mg per cubic metre.

The data collected on air quality in recent weeks has also made it possible to identify increases in the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in closed spaces such as meeting rooms, especially when there are more than four people in attendance.

The lack of ventilation in closed spaces can cause inconveniences such as fatigue, headache and a lack of concentration. The information collected by Gaia has been translated into a new protocol for permanent ventilation during office hours and a 50% reduction in the capacity of these rooms, in order to limit human density in these spaces.

In addition to air quality (carbon dioxide -CO2- and PM 2.5 and PM 10), Gaia by Actiu® also captures real-time information on temperature, humidity, lighting, noise and human presence, among other parameters. It also has a mobile app that allows the user to search for, reserve and rate available spaces and services, in addition to reporting issues and consulting content related to health and well-being.

All of this knowledge, together with the Cool Working® by Actiu accompaniment process, has a positive impact on the well-being of users and the performance of these spaces, becoming a strategic tool especially at a time when many companies are returning to in-person work.

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