The government has missed a big opportunity to make offices safe and healthier by not including more relevant measures in its Autumn and Winter pandemic plans, according to the CEO of an FM technology company.
Will Cowell de Gruchy, CEO of UK-based smart building platform Infogrid, said the government has “missed a trick” with its autumn and winter pandemic plan because “it could have struck a double blow against Covid-19 and carbon emissions had it gone a step further in mandating the installation of smart environment monitoring technology in businesses across the country”.
Cowell de Gruchy said: “A regular ‘dumb’ CO2 monitor can be useful, but it requires manual checks which often waste time and resources as well as introducing costly errors. For a similar outlay, businesses, schools and hospitals are better off installing a smart monitor that automatically captures CO2, temperature and humidity readings and uploads them to the cloud. By analysing and understanding all three data points together, you are able to pinpoint your building’s virus risk and then take appropriate action to protect everyone, from employees, students and teachers to nurses and patients.
“The cost of installing smart monitors throughout an entire building is the equivalent of just one or two people taking a sick day, something that is easily preventable through adequate workspace ventilation. We also know that 59 per cent of employees want their employers to collect virus risk data, but currently only 22 per cent of employers are doing so.
“Furthermore, the government is committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050, and yet missed the opportunity to encourage businesses to install the tools to understand and fix issues with their office environment. HVAC systems are the most energy-intensive systems in office buildings. Optimising their efficiency would make a huge difference to the UK’s carbon footprint almost overnight."
The government launched its Autumn and Winter plan last week.