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November 2023: Office Air Quality Insights

As the year winds down, workers in various offices and industries are busy meeting their deadlines. The bustling office environment is constantly influenced by various factors such as weather changes, traffic outside, and indoor heating, creating a dynamic mix in the air.

Let's explore the art of air mixology alongside our Head of Research and Product Development - Erfan. Know a lot already about Indoor Air Quality? Do not waste your precious time, and jump straight to the point.


Why measure the quality of the air in the office?

One of the many reasons is that prioritizing your employees' health is essential for steering your company toward success. Quietly, the quality of indoor air can affect your cognitive abilities, trigger passive allergies, and impact your overall health. Not measuring your office IAQ yet?




What are important KPIs for Overall Indoor Air quality?

Our research team developed a dashboard algorithm that prioritizes Employee Health and Wellbeing Support.


We use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are averages calculated from different specific sub-categories, to measure this. For example, when evaluating Wellbeing Support, we consider elements like Thermal Comfort and Productivity Support. These sub-indicators are derived from fundamental indoor air quality measurements, like Humidity and Temperature, which are vital for Thermal Comfort.


To offer a clearer understanding of their interconnectedness, we've crafted a flowchart (Figure 1). This visual showcases success rates for different Sub-KPIs and KPIs, using November's latest client pool data.

The table describes the parameters that included in indoor air quality
Figure 1: Average Indoor Air Quality Success Rates in November


Colors and their meaning


Good

Acceptable

Unfavorable

Critical

Data foundation


Indoor Air Quality in November

Approaching the conclusion of autumn, we said goodbye to the rainy season, welcoming the onset of the chilly, snowy winter days🌨️. Monthly we sit down with Research and Data specialists to close the month with knowledgeable insights and highlight trends and spikes. In November we observed a few valuable observations:

  • The indoor air temperature, as illustrated in Figure 2, now does not raise concern. This development may be unexpected, particularly given the prior concerns regarding temperature comfort between August and October. The reason for that might be the activation of a central heating system. The temperature indoors stays in the normal range and windows are not opened as frequently.

In Switzerland and Germany, air conditioning isn't as widely embraced, and during the summer, windows are frequently left open. This practice contributes to the observed temperature fluctuations throughout August till October.

In a broader context, a proactive solution could involve implementing a temperature regulation system and installing air conditioning.

Comparing IAQ Parameters: September, October, November
Figure 2: Comparing IAQ Parameter Success Rates: September, October, November
  • Maintaining a consistent trend in indoor air humidity levels over the past few months brings us satisfaction, largely due to our plants effectively contributing to it. This stability signifies a positive impact on overall well-being and productivity support through this metric.

The normal level of humidity is good, too high or too low humidity can cause various productivity and well-being issues, read more about relative humidity.


Two main changes we recommend paying attention to:

  • Indoor air CO2 and TVOC levels become notably influenced in November and we predict further development in these two gaseous pollutants during the upcoming season. This is largely due to the increased density of indoor occupants (especially in meeting rooms with limited and closed boundaries) and the lower frequency of natural ventilation via operable windows, both typically observed over the cold season, contributing significantly to these two parameters.

Comparing IAQ in spaces: Kitchen, Meeting Room, Open office Space
Figure 3: Comparing IAQ in spaces: Kitchen, Meeting Room, Open office Space

  • The escalated NO2 levels observed imply inadequate control of the combustion sources and/or the ventilation practices. Typical factors contributing to NO2 levels indoors include proximity to a parking lot, emissions from gas sources, and the use of heating systems like hot water or central heating, often powered by petrol or gasoline.

In the simplest scenario, it can be a proximity to the kitchen area where high levels of NO2 are typically observed (Figure 3).


Additionally, the absence of adequate (natural) ventilation during the cold season, as mentioned in the context of CO2/TVOC developments, may contribute to the indoor accumulation of NO2 levels.




 

We are dedicated to year-round monitoring of indoor air quality parameters throughout the year. Our steadfast commitment is reflected in our efforts to curate insightful and enriching content. This content serves as a cornerstone, empowering informed management practices that continuously elevate businesses!

Read more about monthly IAQ

If your Air Quality needs improvement



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