Improved indoor air quality (IAQ) is the quickest and cheapest way to protect people from air pollution, according to leading campaigner Simon Birkett.
The founder of the long-running Clean Air in London campaign told an event organised by the CIBSE FM and ASHRAE Groups that addressing IAQ was the ‘single thing that we can do quickest’ in the face of alarming levels of outdoor pollution.
He said he was lobbying for minimum levels of IAQ to be included in the London Plan so that buildings over a certain size would have to meet air quality standards. This could be a game-changer as could the proposal for a new Clean Air Act that, he believes, should be updated.
He said: ‘A myopic focus on energy efficiency and CO2 has led to the problems we have now.’
He pointed out that Building Regulations already contain requirements for NO2 levels, and the proliferation of individual, portable air monitors meant people were starting to challenge their employers over air quality in workplaces.
He said: ‘The cost of filtration is about 10% of the cost of actually getting air into the building and the cost of filters is tiny compared to salaries and the impact of poor air quality.’