As the end of lockdown appears closer than ever, building managers have already begun to prepare buildings for a returning workforce.
While working from home has its benefits, I’m sure all of us miss the ability to have face-to-face meetings with colleagues and customers.
Creating a safe and healthy environment will reduce the concerns of an understandably nervous workforce and other visitors to the building.
Demonstrating that all aspects of health have been considered will help to build trust and make easing back into shared spaces much smoother.
Providing a flow of ventilation without reducing comfort is crucial.
Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate
Ventilation is one of those aspects of building services that occupants rarely consider.
Yet FM and engineering professionals know that it has a significant role in reducing indoor pollutants and contaminants.
In our current situation, providing a flow of ventilation into a space without reducing comfort (by lowering temperatures, for example) is crucial.
One approach uses mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR), with products such as our own commercial Lossnay MVHR.
The demand for ventilation (perhaps at higher rates than usual) does not reduce the need for energy-efficient building operation.
In fact, in buildings where occupancy rates are lower, managing operational costs is equally important.
MVHR can deliver outdoor air into a building while simultaneously extracting state air – using heat recovery to raise the temperature of that incoming air.
Using the heat from extracted air in this way means that less energy needs to be applied to the incoming air to bring it to the required temperature.
One of the benefits of the MVHR approach is easy retrofitting, so it can be applied wherever it’s needed most in a building.
Lossnay MVHR has already been used successfully in lecture theatres, event spaces and meeting rooms and is suitable for almost any type of building.
A useful tool
The ability to retrofit MVHR is particularly important in 2021 when building owners are trying to find new approaches accommodating fewer occupants in a space.
Removing desks and chairs is relatively straightforward, but balancing the demand for meeting rooms means finding new uses for areas that may not have previously benefited from ventilation.
MVHR offers a straightforward refurbishment option that can make space usable and more comfortable for occupants, whether they’re students returning to ‘live’ lectures or colleagues coming together for a team update.
Applying energy-efficient ventilation where it’s most needed is a useful tool for today’s FM and engineering teams.
David Hammond is a Business Development Manager