Ventilation - has the penny dropped yet?

Dare we say that we told you so…!?!?!

For those that may recall, we wrote a number of articles/blogs last year expressing our concerns about how 2020 seemed to bring the perfect conditions for a pandemic of mouldy homes with a cold and seemingly longer winter, where everyone had to spend more time in their inadequately ventilated homes. The outcome was predictable and inevitable. Are we now starting to see the results of our predictions come true?

Nearly 2 million Londeners living in damp conditions…

An article published by ITV claimed ‘Nearly two million Londoners living in mouldy, damp or cold homes’. Two million, in one of the most affluent cities in the world!

However the pandemic has perhaps more directly shown how poorly our buildings are ventilated. Two separate articles in last week’s Economist illustrated this perfectly. The first highlights that “the virus which causes covid-19 spreads between people less by close contact and infected surfaces and more by hitching a ride on aerosol particles from people’s lungs that can linger in the air of an ill-ventilated room.”

Time to clean up the air in buildings >>

 

Is there ANY Gov attention towards ventilation?

The same article states that the “Indoor air quality has attracted little government attention.” Personally I am not sure I completely agree with this statement. I believe they are aware of the issue and the numerous studies highlighting poor quality of ventilation installs, notably the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) White Paper on Healthy Homes and Buildings. Understanding of the significance of ventilation is nothing new. Neglected yes…but new, no!

The article then goes on to suggest the use of a Carbon Dioxide Sensor to help occupants know when to open windows. From personal experience, if its anything like my gas and electric smart meter it will get depressingly watched like a hawk when first installed, but within a few weeks/months will ultimately be ignored.

Are ventilation certificates needed?!?

The second article suggests that: “one way to ensure compliance might be to issue ventilation certificates for buildings, similar to the food hygiene certificates.”

Ventilation will help curb SARS-CoV-2 >>

 

This is an idea I believe has a lot of merit, but would realistically only work for commercial premises. As most of us spend more time in our homes than anywhere else, how do we ensure that ventilation is correct and proper there?

A suggested realistic approach…

Now how about this for a novel idea – rather than relying on someone opening a window why don’t we try enforcing installing ventilation properly and correctly? Surely it must be plain for all to see that this is a much more realistic approach?

Has the penny finally dropped? Whilst it is easy to grumble about the approaches being advocated, is the main point the significance of this issue finally starting to be appreciated? Both articles clearly indicate that ventilation is key to controlling the spread of Covid-19. Unfortunately the problem with ventilation has always been a case of if I can’t see it, it can’t be a problem. Lets hope lessons are learnt here and action is taken to seriously improve air quality within our buildings.

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