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13 May 2021

How improperly constructed buildings affect air quality

Why an improperly constructed office building can cause enormous harm to the health of workers

Olha Muntean

Arkady Raikin said with irony that we inhale oxygen, and we hasten to exhale all kinds of filth. Of course, you shouldn't take these words seriously. And even if a person has practically not changed over the past half century, the air quality has undergone many influences, and his story is a little complicated.

It is not the first time that academics and scientists have noted a steady increase in the frequent incidence of those people who work in offices day after day. The main problem is that the ventilation systems are not organized correctly, they lack an intensive air exchange process. Also, constant work with computers and numerous people per square meter of premises play an important role.

non office

There is something that can really surprise: a person has already managed to design and think over a huge number of design, construction and installation standards, as well as ventilation systems, air conditioning of large buildings. There are also systems of environmental certification and, here, it is only worth using them in the construction of buildings, as there should definitely not be problems. But in reality, the results are astounding.

How does dirty air affect the human body

All established standards and codes use a range of values ​​that are designed to prevent death or serious acute illness in humans. And even such a norm of the state of the environment is not an indicator of a beneficial effect on the general well-being or health of workers. By measuring carbon dioxide, you can see that its indicators are within the norm. This means that being in the room is formally safe, since a person will not lose consciousness because of this. However, constant daily presence in such, conditionally, office will negatively affect immunity and lead to a decrease in cognitive functions. As a result, the employee will receive permanent illnesses, and the employer has a low level of performance.

There is another problem as well. In all documentary standards, requirements are prescribed only for air, and not for equipment. Thus, it can be seen that there is simply no verification of ventilation equipment. It turns out that there is no real way to check how accurate the characteristics of the technique are. Moreover, such checks are a very time-consuming and expensive process.

How to find out dirty air in the office or not

To be able to assess how harmful there is (physical, chemical, radiation and biological), you need to order a whole range of complex tests in laboratory conditions. And if inspections can be carried out during the commissioning of a building, then further redevelopments and other repair work with new building materials do not provide for any inspections. This is unprofitable because of its high cost and unnecessary nature.

people office

Read other articles on our blog: Apple's ecology: how the company is moving away from its carbon footprint

It should be noted that problems with ventilation systems and climate in buildings may not appear immediately, but gradually. So, no one will have time to notice the bad influence of low-quality air, and this gives a deceptive sense of security. Already, doctors say that dirty air is one of the causes of heart problems. Recently we have dealt with the main problem of ventilation systems: asbestos is and legionellos is. However, new troubles have taken their place. This is a chronic fatigue syndrome that many employers simply don’t believe exists. Now we can say that, most likely, this attack is associated with fungus and mold. They live mainly inside walls and ceilings, in those places where the wallpaper was glued incorrectly with violations of the boundaries of humidity. Such neighbors develop and live for years. Due to fungus and mold, a person is exposed to a dose of microtoxins that are deposited in the nasal mucosa. In the first couples, there are no symptoms, so it is impossible to notice that something is wrong. As soon as a person falls under psychosocial stress, the disease immediately wakes up.

Air pollution in offices

It should be noted that there are no requirements for testing the level of air pollution by harmful toxic bacteria in offices. This was done due to the fact that such bacteria are considered to be not critical. For example, from inhaling carbon monoxide, people will quickly die, having become infected with salmonella - they will get health problems, but they can be identified after a couple of tests. Everything is simple and clear here. But bad air does not contribute to quick death and in general, at first glance, does not carry any side problems.

pictures office

However, after a dozen years of working in such a room, the employee develops diabetes mellitus, or even Alzheimer's syndrome. The aging process of the body is also accelerated. Migraine appears, and oxidation processes increase. Research conducted in the United States has proven a direct link between humidity, boundary temperature, air conditioning, and migraine complaints among employees.

How to fix the dirty air situation in buildings

Of course, it is necessary to comply with all important standards and requirements for the design of buildings, taking into account also the position of the high-rise in relation to insolation and wind rose. True, in reality, it is not always possible to fulfill these requirements. At the moment, most of the premises have been built or are being built on the sites of old buildings and sites. Therefore, all hopes are only on engineers and their solutions.

As a rule, in buildings that are built for offices, administration and public activities, a single ventilation system is used. When set up and started, it works in such a way that in all rooms there is a flow of fresh air that meets all the customer's requirements. If you try to change the settings in one of the buildings, this will lead to a complete imbalance in the system. Reconfiguration is a very expensive and time-consuming procedure. It turns out that the centralized ventilation system has a hard time controlling humidity and carbon dioxide levels.

ventilation system

However, any commercial buildings have been used for their intended purpose for many years. In this case, no redevelopment is provided. The number of people should not change either. And even if the average standards in theory look great - in life, to maintain a normal air level in individual buildings or rooms, you must use an individual ventilation unit or special mechanisms that adjust the air quality.

Green office concept

If you start spreading the concept of a green office and other similar solutions, will the situation change? Experts say that in such rooms, an indispensable condition is individual control of the parameters of temperature, air flow rate and humidity. At the same time, you need to perform at least one reading, and it is not necessary to adjust everything at once, therefore it is not performed.

You need to evaluate the situation carefully, because green standards are primarily aimed at the process of saving energy and resources. It is only recently that there has been an understanding that saving resources cannot achieve a high quality of life. Therefore, today the slogan sounds like "From green energy to health!". Medical parameters now appear in standards.

green office

Green buildings should start with a detailed check of air composition, humidity and temperature, vibration, electromagnetic hum and noise. Also, it is important to conduct frequent surveys of the level of the indoor environment of the premises. Otherwise, employees will often get sick, drink a lot of drugs, waste time and money, which means they will have low efficiency.

Read also: Ecophone - quality refurbished iPhone at an affordable price

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