Throughout the pandemic air quality has been a keen focus, with particular emphasis on fresh air supply and monitoring this by extensive carbon dioxide monitoring. As with everything else, the restrictions are now lifting and the advice is changing. We always knew there would come a time when recirculation of your air flow would be suitable, to help to balance the need for safe but energy efficient supply - and now it is that time!
The HSE has updated their advice on their website, yesterday releasing in their e-bulletin, new links to Ventilation in the workplace (hse.gov.uk). All previous advice in relation to the pandemic controls has been removed, and the lower recommended range for carbon dioxide (800 parts per million) has been removed, with the limits now being advised at being maintained below 1500 parts per million.
Whilst this is a positive change with the advice, opening the consideration for more effective recirculation of air to assist in energy requirements, moves to change your ventilation systems overnight might not be the approach you want to take. As we are all well aware, occupancy is fluctuating significantly throughout the week with "hybrid working" now taking shape.
I fully believe that this pattern of work is going to take a couple of years to settle down, and in turn your building operations will similarly take time to settle. A phased approach would be wise, with routine monitoring to make sure that appropriate standards are being maintained.
We may well not be legally obliged by pandemic restrictions now, but business continuity will provide a dominant focus for us all, and how our air systems perform will continue to be a focus for our occupants' health.
If you need any help and support with your indoor air quality - please get in touch.