Published by: CPI Industry
Description: In view of the fact that citizens and residents alike spend 90% of their time in the built-environment, good Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is of paramount importance to the UAE, with a view to promoting good health, well-being and productivity, leading to GDP growth. Good IEQ is a critical need in the healthcare, education and hospitality sectors in the country. The three sectors require specific IEQ strategies and solutions involving the contributions of multiple disciplines and stakeholders in the architecture, construction, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and FM (facility management) industries. While the regulation, expertise and skills to plan and implement good IEQ strategies exist in the country, generally speaking, there is a lack of coordinated effort amongst the stakeholders and, in some instances, a lack of self-regulation. An additional challenge is a perceived conflict between IEQ aspirations and those related to energy efficiency. Good IEQ is achievable in a comprehensive manner throughout the UAE, without compromising on energy-efficiency goals, by means of an inter-connected, collaborative approach sustainably involving all the stakeholders.
The objectives of this paper are to highlight the urgency in action needed to resolve the various IEQ-related issues and to indicate new directions in which further research could be conducted to correlate unhealthy IEQ and its adverse effects on building occupants in the aforementioned sectors, and ways to mitigate them. While the information presented in the paper is not groundbreaking in nature, it is hoped that it will have an incremental effect on the existing body of knowledge on the subject. The writer acknowledges that there is need for more in-depth research, quantification and empirical proof to support some of the points stated in the paper.