How many people outside of the building sector and academic discussions are aware of the benefits we as human beings draw from good indoor environments, in terms of health, well-being and productivity?
Although many of us spend most of our lives inside buildings, the general knowledge about indoor environments is not widely spread outside the expert bubble. And although we and many others have tried to increase awareness, build knowledge and unleash the full potential of our indoor environments, we are still facing complaining tenants, affected productivity and low concentration due to poor indoor environment.
Knowing that a team is much stronger than an individual player, we have therefore joined forces with a number of leading companies working in the indoor environment sector, all experts at their respective areas, to get the message across with concerted efforts. We call ourselves the Healthy Indoors Alliance, and the founding members include Camfil, Condair, Fagerhult and – of course – Swegon.
As a start, we have published this call to action for our neighbouring trade, the real estate business. See this as an opening statement, you will hear more from us, Healthy Indoors, in the future.
The future of real estate is about human health
Did you know that you can increase your revenues and the value of your properties by investing in the indoor environment, for occupants' health, productivity, well-being and customer satisfaction?
In a time with many question marks about how we will work in the future, it is extra important to think about how to make your properties as attractive as possible. More and more people will make new demands on offices and indoor environments where more focus will be on human health, safety and well-being.
In the past year, work and living have for many taken place in the same building, which has led to a change few were prepared for. Now we are facing a situation where we will slowly reopen society and where people will leave their homes to return to their offices and more public spaces.
Indoor air more polluted than outdoor air
In recent years, many property owners have taken the opportunity to renovate and upgrade their properties by repainting, fixing the exterior, installing bicycle racks and new office furniture. But it's easy to forget the invisible - the indoor environment. We spend almost 90% of our time indoors, but few still know how much impact the indoor environment has on our health, performance and well-being. On top, the indoor air is often more polluted than the outdoor air which increases the demand for good ventilation and filtration.
The graphs above are some examples of how the indoor climate affects us. At a temperature of over 21 degrees indoors, performance drops rapidly. At CO2 levels that exceed 1000 PPM (limit value for a healthy environment), we know that our ability to think strategically drops drastically. Above that, airborne particles are directly connected to illness, especially small particles that the human body has no natural defense against. We can also see that the sound level affects us a lot and that the concentration level drops quickly in the event of noise or disturbing sounds. Humidity and light are also important parameters. Scientific research shows that maintaining the indoor relative humidity in the range 40-60% and at a temperature of 20-22 degrees, viruses and infectious drops fall to the floor and reduces the risk of transmission and enabling our best immune respons. And with well-designed lighting and good availability of natural light, productivity increases by almost 5%.
- There are great benefits to reviewing the indoor environment.
- You ensure a higher level of well-being and performance for the people in the building.
- Customer surveys will show more satisfied tenants who will also stay longer. It will simply be a more attractive building, which puts people first.
We are happy to share our knowledge of how the indoor climate can contribute to increased value of your properties and customers.
With kind regards,
Johan Höckne, Managing Director Condair AB
Torbjörn Bäck, Nordenchef Camfil
Robert Kristiansson, VD Swegon Sverige