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International standards driving better indoor air quality

Building wellness is to the current era what green buildings were in the early 1990s. With the introduction of international accreditation standards and the UK Governments’ Clean Air Strategy 2019, addressing building wellness is no longer an optional extra.

Efforts have been significantly increased in terms of building wellness design. Including certifications and standards that promote better Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). They aim to make buildings support and promote health and the wellbeing of its occupants.

Certifications & Standards

WELL aims to measure, certify, and monitor the features of a building that are likely to impact the health and overall wellbeing of building occupants. The new version has 11 categories of wellness called ‘Concepts’ and IAQ is the first.

Focussing more on sustainability, building materials, energy efficiency and the environment, the LEED green building certification complements WELL, which assesses human sustainability.

Fitwel also helps employers to evaluate all elements of building design to create a healthy workplace. Some of its strategies will limit harmful airborne pollutants, reduce workers’ exposure to them and also ensure their quick elimination to improve IAQ.

The introduction of The British Council for Offices’ (BCO) study in 2018 – “Wellness Matters: Health and Wellbeing in offices and what to do about it” – is driving improvements in IAQ and states the business case for investment in it.

BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning buildings, has also introduced an Indoor Air Quality plan to enhance the wellbeing of the people who live and work in them.

Do you want to know more?

Plasma Clean has produced a definitive guideHow Indoor Air Quality can contribute to a Happy and More Productive Workforce –  which you can download for free.

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Grease problems? Odour complaints? How to control these in a variety of commercial kitchens

The levels of grease and odour depends on the type of cooking in your restaurant / take-away establishment. Based on DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) 2005 guidelines, we have outlined grease and odour levels in a variety of commercial kitchens.

What can you smell?

Different commercial kitchens generate different smells. For example, a pizza restaurant usually generates medium levels of odour; but most pubs generate high levels of grease and odour.

A Chinese take-away will usually have very high levels of grease and high levels of odour; whereas a kitchen cooking soup will have very low grease but could have strong odours. Another example is a fish and chip shop will be very greasy and also generate a very strong smell.

So, how do you know if the smell from your kitchen is actually a grease problem?

What are the levels of grease and odour in your establishment?

Kitchen grease is a real hazard.

Those who work with food businesses including Mechanical & Electrical Consultants & Engineers, Ventilation & Canopy Specialists, Planning & Environmental Health Officers, Facilities Managers & Landlords, know how hard it can be to control grease build-up in the kitchen ventilation ductwork. It is also a fire hazard. The levels of grease in the system can be measured in microns. Do you know your current level?

Kitchen odours can be a real nuisance. Especially for your neighbours.

A proper odour control kitchen ventilation solution will help prevent odours from the kitchen from festering and affecting the working environment, or from travelling to the other parts of the premises, such as the dining area.

Anything can produce a cooking smell; the number of covers a restaurant does, and where the system discharges are factors that can affect how strongly these odours are smelt outside of the kitchen.

Solution choices

There are many things to take into account when choosing your solution. For example, we will take under consideration:

  • Specification requirements
  • TR19 inspection and cleaning tests
  • Space restraints
  • Planning consents
  • Level of extraction

and even the environment the kitchen is working in.

Our solution plan begins with identifying the problem, treating it and maintaining the solution. To continue to reap the benefits, it is important to maintain the equipment and keep the duct clean with a regular TR19 cleaning.

Careful selection of components and a planned service regime are key. The mentality of ‘fit and forget’ is not an option.

You need an expert

We specialise in solutions using cutting edge plasma and UV-C technologies to control odour and grease in commercial kitchens.

We have a unique mix of experience and academic rigour to problem solving across the UK and beyond.

You are welcome to contact Plasma Clean today about how our solutions can control grease and odour in your commercial kitchen:

Call 0161 870 2325, Email ask@plasma-clean.com

For further information visit www.plasma-clean.com

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'Well' buildings improve people performance

Human Resources and Facilities Managers are the custodians of two of the most important drivers of business performance. People and Places. For an organisation to operate most effectively, it’s important that both functions work in partnership.

By committing to building wellness, HR professionals are empowered to play a greater role in the physical workspace design and operations. They have more influence on culture and change management decisions and to align the brand with the employee experience.

By providing a ‘Well’ building, within which good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is essential, employers can improve the way staff behave within it. Whilst providing them with health benefits that come with an enhanced physical environment.

Corporate wellbeing strategies that deliver a healthier and happier workplace environment are becoming increasingly viewed as an integral part of the value proposition to employees.

Along with workplace pensions, holiday allowance, childcare vouchers and flexible working, they’re fast becoming an expectation rather than a perk.

Good IAQ is essential for a building to be ‘well’.

The millennial generation is taking this one step further. They actively choose a better quality of life at work. Including career opportunity, paid time off, forward-thinking culture – over a higher salary.

The demand for well buildings is on the increase.

A recent Europewide study found that 72% of employees either already had or wanted to have a building that promoted wellness. There is a growing understanding, that the environment in which you work has a significant role to play in our overall wellbeing.

IAQ is at the heart of it.

Read more about International standards driving better IAQ in our new guide. Download HERE

Contact us if you have any questions or want more information:

T +44 (0)161 870 2325

M ask@plasma-clean.com

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The effect of Indoor Air Quality on workplace health, happiness and performance

For most employers, a healthy and happy workforce is a vital component of a productive, successful company.

A study in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2016 directly quantified the impact of indoor environmental quality on cognitive function. By changing levels of ventilation, carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds. The study measured how the indoor environment affects our health and productivity. On average, cognitive scores were 61% higher in the Green building. They were 101% higher in the Wellness building. Both compared to a conventional building.

The bottom line

Staff costs, including salaries and benefits, account for up to 90% of a business’ overheads. So, their productivity, or anything that impacts their ability to be productive, should be a major concern.

Even a 1% increase in staff productivity, or a 1% decrease in staff turnover, can have a noticeable effect on a company’s bottom line.

As the benefits and importance of building wellness increase. They are driven by the likes of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy 2019. Also by the arrival in the UK of international standards such as WELL and Fitwel. Therefor, the incorporation of wellness into our buildings is no longer just a “nice-to-have”.

It’s not only a social responsibility, it’s an economic one too. Illness costs UK businesses £77 billion each year in lost productivity. This equates to, on average, each employee losing 30.4 days – or six working weeks – of productive time annually.

This is due to both absenteeism and more predominantly, ‘presenteeism’ where employees attend work whilst ill. The costs of which are likely to significantly outweigh the cost of implementing a well building programme and investing in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Indoor Air Quality

In response to these startling statistics, more companies than ever are taking steps to ensure that the physical environment in which their employees work is much healthier.

It’s particularly important for those businesses operating in urban areas. In there areas there’s evidence that employees working near high-traffic-density roads are exposed to high levels of vehicle pollutants. Despite these emissions being generated outside, they find their way into buildings through the ‘so-called’ fresh air supply.

By providing better IAQ, businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition. They become employers of choice. As well as standing themselves in good stead to protect against future employee litigation over the health effects of poor IAQ.

Want to read more?

Download our guide on ‘How indoor air quality can contribute to a happy, healthy and more productive workforce’ HERE.

Contact us if you have any questions or want more information:

T +44 (0)161 870 2325

M ask@plasma-clean.com

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The air that we breathe

Wellness is the new ‘green’

Think back to the 1990s and early 2000s. This was the beginning of the revolution in green buildings. Today, there’s a new revolution afoot. Wellness in buildings is the
new green.

The Green Revolution was all about optimising the performance of the building and
making it as energy-efficient as possible. ‘Building wellness’ takes into account the human aspect. It aims to create a positive place to live and work. One that makes
people happier, healthier and more productive.

The indoor generation

The quality of air that we breathe is vital for our health, productivity and wellbeing. 90%
of our time is spent indoors and we each consume, on average, 10,800 litres of air each day. The importance of good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is clear.

According to one international report, 800,000 people die worldwide every year due to
poor IAQ in their workplace. In the UK, air pollution brings forward some 36,000 deaths
over the same period. And Sick Building Syndrome – which can result in headaches and loss of productivity – even has its own page on the NHS website.

A survey commissioned by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) reports that almost 70% of office workers believe poor air quality in their place of work is having a negative effect on their day-today productivity and well-being.

Indoor air quality

Amongst the most common causes of poor IAQ are ventilation systems issues, high CO2
levels, inadequate temperature control, humidity, infection and odour, poor air circulation and insufficient fresh air intake.

As the dangers of air pollution gain greater exposure our focus on it grows. Air pollution
is a top environmental risk to human health in the UK. It is the fourth greatest threat to public health after cancer, heart disease and obesity. One report cites that air pollution causes a cost of £2.7 billion to the UK economy -through its impact on productivity. IAQ is clearly an area that requires careful consideration.

Fortunately, it is becoming a key factor when both assessing a building’s wellness and driving employee health initiatives in workplaces internationally – by companies of all sizes, not just the high-end tech giants and corporates.

It’s a development we’re seeing at Plasma Clean. Building wellness and IAQ is being increasingly embedded into corporate wellbeing strategies to deliver a healthier and happier work environment. This results in significant returns on investment for companies, including fewer absences, higher employee retention rates and more engaged and productive workers.

Interesting?

Please download our new IAQ and building wellness guide – Click HERE

If you have any questions or want more information, contact us now:

+44 (0)161 870 2325

ask@plasma-clean.com

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Some of our Clients