An overwhelming majority of people in this world are breathing polluted air, so much so that studies indicate over seven million annual deaths are caused due to poor air quality. That’s not all – poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is rapidly becoming one of the most perilous environmental risks to human health, as consequential changes in lifestyles and work habits have dramatically inflated the amount of time people spend indoors.
Within the indoor environment, be it home or office, people are not only exposed to pollutants in the outdoor air, whenever a door or window opens, but also many more contaminants specific to the indoor environment.
Allergens, such as dust, pet dander, mould, particles released from burning of coal in barbecues, smoke from cigarettes, burning of wood, gas-based cooking, lighting of candles, and chemicals released from paint and flooring are a few examples.
Unsustainable construction techniques, lack of competent ventilation provisions, harmful cleaning products and procedures only add to further degrading the IAQ.
With the potentially dangerous health consequences from regular exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), dust, particulate matter and other air pollutants becoming well known, air quality within residences is conspicuously becoming a priority for building owners and occupants. This change in attitude towards everyday health and wellbeing is making identifying and dealing with IAQ problems irrefutable for developers and real estate companies.
People spend most of their lives indoors, and even more so since the pandemic. This has propelled public awareness towards Outdoor Air Quality (OAQ) and IAQ and has driven home the message that without preventative strategies, pandemics and infections can spread more rapidly and have a catastrophic impact on human life and global economies due to poor IAQ. Increased knowledge of Sick Building Syndrome and its effects have without a doubt transformed the way people think about IAQ and the risks that come along with it.
Incommensurate ventilation and parsimonious approach to the maintenance of the ducts in residential and commercial developments allow for a build-up of virus-laden aerosols that render any environment ripe for the rapid spread of a disease.
Even offices are full of potential sources of VOCs with an ever-increasing number of computers, printers, scanners, fax machines and photocopiers, since most of the population has started working from home, further impacting the IAQ of homes. Urgent attention needs to be given to the detrimental effects of poor Air Quality Index (AQI), as the impact on health and wellbeing are aplenty and pernicious, to say the least.
Studies suggest that poor IAQ, coupled with growing CO2 levels and low ventilation rates, can dull cognitive abilities and make people less alert. Prolonged exposure to poor IAQ has a negative impact on occupant well-being. It can cause coughing, shortness of breath, aggravation of asthma, ENT-related irritation, eye infections, headaches and allergic reactions. Clearly, health is progressively becoming a priority for many home buyers, and the correlation between health and air quality is a proven fact.
It is only opportune for developers to offer accurate air quality information and solutions alongside other major selling points. As Fakhruddin Properties, it is our endeavour to ensure the monitoring and optimising of air quality within our developments. Not only that, our future developments will come installed with air quality monitoring systems and enhancing technologies, serviced by optimising energy consumption costs through use of natural resources and smart technologies.
We are currently developing a technology to improve the air quality of the entire structure and promote a healthier lifestyle in our future homes by managing the HVAC system’s FAHU and lowering CO2 levels through a filtration technique known as HEECO2R (Health Energy Efficiency Carbon Reduction); it helps us achieve energy savings and healthy buildings.
The technique eliminates Sick Building Syndrome and helps people live a healthier lifestyle and workstyle while lowering energy consumption, and operating and maintenance expenses. HEECO2R ensures our air quality is healthy as a result of the numerous filtration and purification processes that take place, which minimise Sick Building Syndrome and energy usage in our traditional cooling system.
At Fakhruddin Properties, we understand the importance of implementing strong methods to preserve a healthy IAQ as a crucial step in creating and developing healthier places to live, work, learn and leisure. Our air purifier, Airocide was one of the pioneering technologies that we brought to the retail Air Quality market in 2013.
Today, almost a decade down the line, an air purifier has become a basic requirement for every household. Our current outdated HVAC systems foster high-risk environments, necessitating superior ventilation and air purification technologies along with indoor green spaces. Environmental forecasting technologies, which can monitor IAQ and OAQ and optimise environments by taking necessary steps to make the IAQ ambient, is presenting huge growth opportunities for real estate developers that were not even conceivable just a few years ago.
Now, with emerging technologies and artificial intelligence helping us understand the air quality, and its impact on human health, the quality of indoor air requires priority attention and consistent improvement for the collective wellbeing of all major cities. By laying augmented focus on occupational hygiene and occupant wellbeing through investment in systems to manage IAQ in buildings, developers can not only reduce their long-term liability but also increase the performance, property value and the return on investments in real estate.