A Focus on Healthy Spaces
Interest in the quality of the air that we breathe and the environments that we spend time in is at an all-time high. We spend 90 percent or more of our time indoors, so it is vital that companies and individuals focus on the quality of air that circulates in our homes, offices, retail spaces, schools and institutions.
As Canada’s largest community credit union with 55 branches across Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay, Vancity has progressively led the way in improving the quality of air in their branches by monitoring and analyzing the air in real-time, which is why it was important for them to do everything they can to improve the quality of the air in their buildings.
How the credit union measures “good” air quality
The credit union has been working with indoor air quality experts for many years. Throughout those years the ideal parameters for CO2 (carbon dioxide), temperature, humidity, dust (PM2.5) and Chemicals (VOCs-Volatile Organic Compounds) have been set to create the best quality spaces.
They’ve done this in conjunction with green building ratings such as the WELL standard, a standard which sets targets for all of these indoor air quality parameters.
These efforts combined are directly tied to Vancity’s commitment to having great spaces for their members and staff.
Why is indoor air quality so important to Vancity?
Great indoor air quality increases cognitive function, reduces sick days and has an overall positive effect on your health. We drink around 6 liters of water a day, but we breathe 8 liters of air every minute. Even issues such as ‘dry eyes’ can be related back to the quality of the air of a building.
That’s why Vancity focused on measurable ways to manage and improve all their branches. In conjunction with Airsset, a Vancouver based software company that monitors, provides insights and models solutions to improve indoor air quality in buildings, they began by piloting real-time monitoring in five of their branches so that they could more proactively ensure their buildings stay on top of the targets for great spaces.
Franco Tortora, Vancity’s Team Manager in Building Maintenance and a champion of creating healthy spaces for their teams and customers had this to say:
“We want to provide the best air quality within Vancity’s indoor environments for both employees and members. Airsset’s real-time indoor air quality monitoring system allows the team and I to more effectively manage all Vancity branches so they are always providing the healthiest and most efficient spaces.
“The internet capability of the Airsset devices is crucial, because, with internet connectivity, the right person can be alerted to take action to ensure our HVAC systems are functioning properly. And if they are not, to quickly make any necessary repairs.”
What you can do at home
While you might not have a building maintenance team and expert consultants, there are practical measures that anyone can take to improve the air quality in our homes.
Even without real-time monitoring, you’ll likely find that increasing the amount of amazing BC fresh air will help you sleep, study and work better.