Five ways commercial real estate is changing with better indoor air quality

BY--Dinesh Semwal, Founder, Ensavior Technologies 

In the current scenario where social distancing has spread the employees far away globally, it has brought everyone together like never before. The focus has increased towards maintaining a healthy workplace atmosphere that is also hygienic to promote peace of mind. To meet the project deadlines and comprehend well enough with daily office work, having a cleaner air to breathe is of utmost significance. With the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the shutdown of public transport for longer duration led to increased private conveyance. The data shows a massive influx in road traffic, causing colossal congestion, thereby spiking the country's air pollution levels. Emissions are not only from vehicles but also from industries. The Global Burden of Disease Assessment shows that quashing air pollution levels is the second major health concern factor in India after malnutrition. 

A study in University College London, UK shows that air pollution may lead to irreversible effects on eyes, causing blindness. Also, ambient pollution may cause cardiac problems and respiratory diseases. 

Indoor air quality has raised the brows of employees working in their offices and residential building occupants about their health concerns. Commercial indoor air quality is now a regular part of Real Estate conversations concerning both the new constructions and existing building design remodeling. In this changing market scenario, those commercial office owners steep disadvantage who fail to address IAQ putting occupants at risk. The commercial buildings that are developed keeping in view the holistic approach in addressing the air quality (both indoor as well as outdoor) will be more acquired.


The shifting market trends- 

Occupants are more attentive about IAQ- 

Since when a direct relation between indoor air quality and workplace productivity is established, the occupants can be seen as more focused in this direction. Workplaces are no more just office buildings; these are more like a second home to occupants where they spend more than half their productive time in a day. Improper ventilation can cause headaches, itching in eyes, nauseusness and fatigue. Thus, incorporating IAQ enhancement technologies is of utmost significance. 


IAQ – a concern for every stakeholder

Not only the occupants, the employees but for employers, building owners and also the operators, IAQ is a concern. A business that is not making investment into improving IAQ will soon have to repay it in terms of bad reputation. To make the facility attractive to occupants, focus on health and wellness will be a better certification in the near future than the salary packages and other perks.  


Compliance is no more optional- 

The emission from industries containing high levels of volatile natural compounds and harmful gases like carbon dioxide has ill health. Keeping such a risk in view, the governments will soon make it compulsory for all to comply with regulations eventually.  It is anyways better for realtors to be proactive in their building designs and restructures. 


Good news - The cost is not exorbitant!

The costs to incorporate IAQ technologies in commercial or residential buildings are not so unreasonable. It will no way take charge of your pocket in the long run. However, failure to inculcate so will do. With presently available air quality monitors and HVAC systems, the indoor air quality index can be maintained at reasonable levels. 


Better peace of mind- 


The well-being of employees impinges on their output both physically and psychologically. Health ailments due to fumigants, moisture, and humidity, will lead to erratic behavior with coworkers and missed or delayed project deadlines resulting in lower annual turnovers. Improved health will lead to better peace of mind resulting in higher annual revenue.