Unravelling the complexities of building health
Aiming to assist companies to understand the complexities of building health, CETEC is embarking on an ambitious project to undertake an assessment of indoor environment quality and productivity in buildings worldwide.
CETEC participated in the development of the first ever national guidelines for managing indoor environment quality, particularly for the office workplace, and the company is now embarking on an ambitious project to undertake an assessment of indoor environment quality and productivity in buildings worldwide, selecting 10 buildings from each country to provide a representative sample across building types. Countries involved include India, Brazil, the US, the UK, Germany and Australia.
According to the company, more companies are understanding the complexities of building health. “20 years ago, we were looking at workers becoming more sedentary through sitting at computers, then computer associated repetitive strain injury and stress, and more recently, there is growing concern regarding indoor environment quality and with people’s health,” Dr Vyt Garnys, managing director of CETEC, states. He adds that symptoms include aggravation of respiratory problems, including asthma, eye strain, headaches, spread of common infections and chemical sensitivity.
“Having led research into the impact of airborne lead on children’s health, we understood how the human body reacted to low level contaminants. From this point, we developed the concept of facility ecology,” Dr Garnys notes. “It is important to recognise the economic case for healthy sustainable green building initiatives. Optimising building quality directly affects productivity with an average improvement of 5 percent, and that translates to more than 5.5 billion dollars annually in Australia alone.”
The issue of healthy buildings will be discussed further at the 10th International Healthy Buildings Conference, which is being hosted by the Queensland University of Technology in July 2012 (see the events page for more information). The event, which is sponsored by CETEC, will cover the major issues facing building, environmental and health professionals.