Thursday, March 8, 2012

Offices can be healthy and provide great indoor air quality

Natural light and good indoor air quality help
make a workplace healthier and more productive.
We often write blog posts to warn readers about the dangers of poor indoor air quality, which can be a problem in many office buildings.

But there are also a number of exemplary offices with outstanding indoor air quality, so we decided to focus on the things many companies and organizations do right when it comes to their offices.

One such example is the Earth Rangers Centre for Sustainable Technology, which houses a non-profit group that helps children become environmental stewards.

The building received a LEED Gold certification and was recently featured in a Globe and Mail article.

Here are some of the features that make this building a healthy and safe place to work:
  • Open-concept workspace: It helps work flow and collaboration and also helps with the heating and cooling from the exposed concrete ceilings.
  • Natural light and green views: Most of the workers don’t need to use electrical lamps, since there is a lot of natural light flooding into the building. About 90 percent of the floor space offers a view of the conservation area surrounding the building.
  • Low-VOC products: The interior walls were painted with low-VOC or no-VOC paints, so they won’t off-gas harmful volatile organic compounds.
  • Healthy furniture: The office furniture has been certified by Greenguard to contain no toxic materials that emit harmful gases.
  • Ventilation: The building gets a constant supply of fresh outdoor air, which is either warmed or cooled in underground earth tubes.
  • Filtration: The air also passes through UV filtration to neutralize airborne pathogens (bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms).
  • Building automation: The centre is working on another innovation that keeps track of how many employees are inside the building to adjust the air-handling unit and lights in certain areas.

These types of systems and innovations help keep energy bills low and turn the office space into a much healthier environment, which can help with absenteeism figures and productivity, experts say.

It’s good to know that office planners, employers, workers and others are getting savvier and more interested in advanced workplace technologies and design.

Source: Globe and Mail

Not working in a LEED certified building yet? Most office buildings have a long way to go to provide the best possible working environment when it comes to indoor air quality and other factors. Electrocorp’s air cleaners for offices and for office printers provide the right air filters and technologies to indoor air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and other chemicals, particles, dust, allergens, bacteria, viruses and mold. Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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