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‘IAQ management is beyond functional maintenance of properties’

Industry insiders reiterate importance of following ASHRAE standards for better IAQ management

| | Aug 30, 2017 | 11:42 am
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Considering the hostile climatic conditions in the GCC region, indoor air quality (IAQ) management in buildings remains a top priority. But what are facility management companies doing to enhance IAQ in their facilities?

Rijo Abraham, Assistant Manager – Energy Performance at Farnek, said: “In terms of maintaining good IAQ, we look to comply and educate the client to follow international standards like ASHARE 62.1. As an FM company, we focus on HVAC maintenance, such as filter inspections, cleaning of coils and replacement of worn-out parts.

“We ensure that we use materials that do not contain problematic VOCs that can affect the IAQ, and we screen all cleaning products before they are used.”

Voicing a similar view, Hidenori Matsubara, General Manager – IAQ Eco Solutions Division at Panasonic Marketing (Middle East & Africa), said: “The general rule of thumb is to follow ASHRAE requirements for air changes in indoor spaces. In the GCC region, FM companies must focus on the quality of the fresh air supply into the facility. Before the outside air enters the building, it must be purified using heat exchangers and multistage filters.”

George Thomas, Vice President at Environmental Protection Service Company (EPSCO), added: “Many of the FM companies focus on the functional maintenance of the facility, like MEP maintenance, housekeeping and security etc., whereas IAQ management is beyond functional maintenance of properties.”

Highlighting some best practices to improve IAQ, Thomas further added: “A constant awareness is needed to inform people about the adverse effects of poor IAQ. It is also important to conduct periodic testing of IAQ in buildings, and timely maintenance of HVAC systems to ensure proper filtration, adequate ventilation and the right temperatures are maintained.”

Speaking on available solutions to enhance IAQ, Thomas said: “One of our key offerings is the HVAC assessment, cleaning and restoration, according to the NADCA ACR standard. We also offer IAQ-testing procedures, mould inspection, removal and remediation services.”

Matsubara added: “Our energy recovery ventilator (ERV) ventilates homes with a minimal energy loss, and it reduces power consumption of up to 61%. Using an ERV in this region is beneficial, because it can be customised to deal with tough weather conditions of the Middle East.”

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