Only four-fifths (83 per cent) of UK businesses have either already implemented clean air technology (52 per cent) or plan to in the next 12 months (31 per cent), according to a report from Johnson Controls.
The healthcare sector has been top in clean air technology implementation. Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of healthcare organisations have already installed clean air systems, with another 31 per cent set to follow suit in the next year. Comparatively, just 47 per cent of commercial real estate, including offices, retailers and banks have implemented clean air technology.
Many of these businesses will be looking to simultaneously reduce office space while encouraging people back to work. The vast majority (82 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to reduce permanent workspace and instead provide temporary work cubes, meaning employees will have to share workspaces more frequently. Meanwhile, just 16 per cent of businesses will offer the majority of their employees the option to work from home full-time now that restrictions have lifted.
Mark Bouldin, clean air expert, Johnson Controls UK&I said: “If businesses want their employees to return to the workplace, they must understand it’s a two-way street. They need to prove to staff that the workplace is safe to return to. Installing clean air technology is critical to building that trust.
“However, the benefits of clean air go beyond health and safety. Research also shows that productivity can increase by up to 11 per cent if buildings have a constant flow of clean air. Business leaders who want to improve productivity and protect their people are taking the right steps by adopting clean air technology. What’s more, our workplaces are going up against the comfort of our own homes now, meaning clean air is necessary to create an environment which is both comfortable and safe."
Clean air technology played a key role in keeping essential buildings open during the pandemic. Over four-fifths (87 per cent) of businesses relied on smart technology, such as clean air solutions, to keep their buildings open, while more than a third (37 per cent) even claimed that the technology was either critical or essential.
One school, serving 800 students and 100 teachers, used clean air technology to reopen and resume in-person classes safely during the pandemic. By installing a combination of clean air technologies, the school was able to capture 99.97 per cent of airborne pathogens, preventing children and staff from breathing in contaminated air.
When it comes to achieving indoor clean air the following technologies have all helped businesses achieve their clean air goals, with:
- 73% using air purification;
- 60% installing IAQ-indoor air quality technology;
- 60% implementing air quality monitoring;
- 57% using UV sanitation in their buildings; and
- 32% of buildings being installed with filtration technology.
The report was commissioned by Johnson Controls in April to uncover what businesses are doing and plan to do to ensure that they are operating out of a healthy building. The survey was conducted among 826 healthy building decision-makers, including those responsible for making or influencing decisions regarding clean air, healthy spaces and emergency response initiatives. Industries covered include healthcare, manufacturing, hotels, data centres, pharma/biotech and retail.
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