Case Study

Sensilla to ensure functionality, comfort, safety, and efficiency of the built environment

26/08/2021
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BACKGROUND

The company we collaborated with is a facility management company, specialized in renewable energy and wellbeing, located in Germany.

They promote themselves as one of the most sustainable players on the market. They are adamant about meeting their promises – implementing intelligent building technologies, recycling systems, and energy-efficient devices in every building they manage. Moreover, they are working on action plans for their clients to improve global wellbeing at work.

The company provides a full suite of services and manages more than 30,000 m2 in the industrial, banking, and insurance sectors. They advise companies on how to reduce their carbon footprint and to implement wellbeing solutions with the help of innovative technologies.

CHALLENGE

To improve their performances and to lead by example, they decided to monitor the Indoor Air Quality of their headquarters. To reinforce its wellbeing credentials, the company wanted tomonitor the indoor air quality in addition to the noise level, the light, and the efficiency of interior design.

This projectwould help them in several aspects, including improvements in their Smart Building technologies to be perfectly fit the occupants’ needs.

PROCESS

Several sensors were installed in a known hotspot of the building: the canteen - reasonably busy all day long - and where most of the staff meets at lunch.

After running and analyzing for 3 months, Sensilla's monitors came back with some valuable data that the company's management quickly had access to through the Sensilla dashboard web application.

A regular rise in the concentration of CO2 occurring around midday was noted. But more surprisingly, high concentrations of CO2 were also observed at random moments of the work day.. After discussion with the staff, the company discovered that the low number of meeting rooms had led to the use of the canteen as an informal meeting room as well.

Furthermore, a peak of TVOC was recorded when the room was supposedly empty at the end of the day. TVOC, depending on the specific chemical, can be harmful to the employees' health, causing irritation, pulmonary problems, and sometimes, with prolonged exposure, cancer. The company was worried about finding the mysterious cause of this problem and solving it to protect the workers' health.

RESULTS

This project was a success in several aspects. Firstly, the HVAC was adjusted to ensure an adequate air change rate in the canteen along all working hours. It was important not only for the air quality, but also to reduce the likelihood of airborne pathogen transmission during meetings.

Secondly, we could determine the time frame when the rise of TVOC occurred and found out it matched with the daily passage of the cleaning staff.

With this information in hand, the company decided to reduce the levels of unhealthy chemicals emitted from the cleaning products. They decided on buying greener and more natural ones, aligning with their environmentally conscious values. They also improved the comfort and safety of all building occupants going to the canteen, employees and cleaning personnel alike.

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