Could a ‘building MOT’ help create the right conditions?

The indoor environment can have an immeasurable impact on the comfort, health and productivity of a building’s occupants. Quality air and the right temperatures support better decision making, creative thinking and help cultivate an efficient, enjoyable workplace.

However, many owners and employers do not appreciate the connection between their buildings and their people, so building services organisation BSRIA is planning a scheme to provide assessment and guidance.

The ‘building MOT’ will be published in 2018 and initially focus on office buildings. Its aim is to provide peace of mind to owners, tenants and occupants that a working environment is safe, healthy and comfortable.

Announcing the plans, BSRIA sustainable building consultant Dr Michelle Agha-Hossein said: “The scheme provides the opportunity for organisations to systematically collect useful information that could return essential and immediate improvement strategies for their two most important assets – their people and buildings and the connection between the two.”

Well-designed office air conditioning systems can play a major role in achieving the right balance in the workplace, particularly when energy controls are used to good effect. The Building MOT will evaluate 80 features, grouped into three categories:

  • Physical, covering indoor environmental quality factors and the features associated with the safety of the building;
  • Functional, concerning the features that can affect the efficiency of the operational performance of the building as well as the occupants’ performance;
  • Psychological, referring to the features that affect occupants’ mental health and happiness.

BSRIA says the scheme is relevant to new, refurbished and existing buildings, but for a new building it should not be applied until at least 18 months after it has been occupied. Other schemes designed to improve the wellbeing of building occupants include WELL and BREEAM, with air quality monitored for indoor and outdoor pollutants as part of the assessment.

The organisations behind these two standards recently released updated guidance for projects seeking to attain certification in both and 361 Degrees can advise on measures to include in your HVAC installation. Click below to get in touch with the team.

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