The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) will publish a new guide later this month to help facilities managers improve indoor air quality within the premises they look after, delegates at the Workplace Futures conference heard this week.
Graeme Fox, head of technical at BESA, said the body's health and wellbeing in buildings group had already created a beginner's guide to indoor air quality "in an attempt to present the crucial facts in a non-technical language so that everyone can get a grasp of the importance of the issue and take steps to improve the quality of the air and our buildings".
He told delegates that air quality had become more important for professionals with responsibility for FM of small to medium-sized workplaces since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and who may have had no specialist knowledge of the subject matter, so such a document was needed.
But now "the next step in this education programme is about to be launched in the next few weeks" entitled A Good Practice Guide for Indoor Air Quality, said Fox.
He added: "This [new guide] has taken the beginner's guide introduction to the next level, explaining what we mean by safe levels of pollution, looking at the mitigating measures you can take to improve the IQ in your buildings, and guiding building managers and owners towards creating buildings as a safe havens. It is estimated that in the UK, we spend around 90 per cent of our time indoors. So to not look at the quality of the air in our buildings is frankly criminal."
He added: "Building managers of schools and colleges can all understand why they may need to make incremental improvements to the indoor environment. And with so many people now working from home, it is resulting in particulate matter building up in the home more regularly. You'll also start to understand where some of the common pollutants are coming from, and the consequences of not addressing the issue."