What is AirRated?
AirRated is an organisation that carries out an environmental survey using the latest sensor technology to determine your building’s AirScore, by collecting detailed information about your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) over a period of 3 weeks. This is then graded by in-house environmental scientists, based on leading medical research and best practice, and is then collated into a report that gives a detailed analysis of your IAQ, alongside any suggested remedial actions.
How does it work?
The survey measures five key parameters: humidity, temperature, PM2.5, TVOCs and carbon dioxide, which are explained in more detail below.
Humidity is the concentration of water vapour that is present in the air, and is expressed as a percentage. It comes from respiration, and activities such as cooking and washing. The health of occupants and presence of mould can be negatively affected by both high and low humidity levels, resulting in increased absenteeism due to respiratory illnesses.
This is referring to the range of air temperature that most people prefer indoors in a normal working environment. It is affected by many factors such as how many occupants are in the space, the effectiveness of the ventilation of the space and the room temperature set point. It can cause problems such as headaches, itchy skin, dry or sore eyes, runny noses and rashes – otherwise referred to as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). This of course reduces the productivity of employees. Research has also indicated that performance is highest in temperatures between 21 and 22 degrees celsius, with performance dropping by 2% every degree above 25, and below 19.
Particulate Matter 2.5 is a very fine particulate matter in the air such as dust, sea salt, ash and vehicle fumes. It can come from a number of sources such as heating and cooking, bacteria, or from sources outside the building. These particles can penetrate into the lungs and bloodstream, causing irritation of airways and an increased risk of cardiovascular issues which can even reduce life expectancy.
The term ‘TVOC’ is a collective noun for VOCs. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are compounds that can become gases or vapours, such as acetone, and come from a wide range of chemicals that may be emitted over weeks or even years from construction and furnishing products such as paints and cleaning products. These can produce both short and long term effects to the occupants. Short term effects would include things like irritation of the eyes and airways, and headaches. Long term impairment can be even more dangerous, such as a damaged central nervous system and even cancer. There is a correlation between high concentration of VOCs in indoor air with allergies, asthma and poor respiratory health.
This is a natural gas that makes up around 0.04% of the air that we breathe, that is colourless and odourless. It comes from human and animal respiration, and combustion. Research has shown that productivity can be reduced by up to 11% in areas of elevated CO2. Despite being part of the natural air we breathe, even very low levels of it have been shown to cause health problems such as respiratory issues. There is also an increase in Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) where there is higher levels of CO2.
Having an AirScore assessment done can contribute towards attracting occupiers and residents, as the organisation is seen to be aware of and taking responsibility of their sustainability. Furthermore it enhances marketing campaigns and responds to the ever-changing expectations for indoor spaces. It shows consideration for the wellbeing of the people within your indoor environments, and any remedial actions that improve the air quality of the space, will positively contribute towards employee retention, productivity and decrease absenteeism.