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Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can be hazardous, yet it is one of the most overlooked aspects of office design, often taking a backseat to layout, furniture and even décor, which have a more obvious effect on the environment simply because you can see them. Moreover, air conditioning and air fresheners often give the impression of pleasant air, but actually mask any nastiness and pollutants that may be causing adverse effects without you realising.
Not enough or lack of outside air – this is especially the case with today’s trend towards energy-efficient, airtight buildings.
Even if no one is permitted to smoke inside, cigarette smoke lingers on the skin and clothes and contains thousands of chemical compounds, most of which are highly-toxic.
Dust and other environmental pollutants such as mould and mildew contribute significantly to indoor air pollution. They can trigger allergies and even cause severe respiratory problems in some people.
From building materials and paint to office equipment and upholstery, virtually every manufactured item in the workplace emits some kind of chemical pollutant.
High ceilings, operable windows and fans are all basic design features that prompt air to circulate and stop an office atmosphere from becoming stuffy and oppressive.
Keep it clean!
A clean office will have much lower levels of dust, mould and allergens that can cause respiratory issues. Consider using eco-friendly cleaning products that don’t release harsh compounds into the air.
Use air-cleaning devices
Air scrubbers, dehumidifiers and air purifiers are a great way to keep your IAQ at good levels. Boost the purification process further by bringing the outside in and adding plants that create oxygen and reduce indoor pollutants. Peace Lilies and palms are well-known for their air-cleaning powers.
Clean HVAC systems regularly
Make sure all your HVAC systems are cleaned regularly and their filters are changed to prevent dust and other air pollutants from circulating back into your indoor air.
Whenever possible, turn off your HVAC systems and open the windows to allow real fresh air to enter the building.
Conduct regular tests
Finally, carrying out regular air testing will give you useful insight into how to formulate the most efficient IAQ improvement plan you can, and will also identify any problems related to humidity levels, airflow, ventilation and mould growth.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.