Smart & Connective

air quality sensor

Indoor air quality (IAQ) more than ever at the heart of the fight against Covid

Returning to the office or school is unfortunately not synonymous with resolving the global health crisis. This is why barrier gestures and measures to protect building occupants are more important than ever. Indeed, it has been shown since the arrival of the new variants that airborne contamination constitutes the main source of transmission of the virus.

Smart & Connective carried out a small experiment in its offices, to find out the quality of the air we breathe throughout the day. To provide context, we are based in Sophia-Antipolis (wooded environment), the test office is a 20m2 space shared by 5 people.

Indoor air quality test results

The first day ( see graph #1 ) shows a day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., without window opening.

office air quality sensor

To help you read this graph, a quick reminder of the Projet CO2 collective and its value grid (in PPM):

 

  • between 800 and 1,000 ppm: average air quality;
  • between 1,000 and 1,500 ppm: moderate indoor air quality and values that are too high in the Covid-19 context;
  • > 1,500 ppm: poor air quality and values that are much too high in the Covid-19 context.

(Source: THE SUMMARY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE FOR THE EVALUATION OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHOICES)

And as you can imagine, the results are not very good…

It appears very clearly that a closed office without ventilation sees its CO2 level gradually rise to a peak exceeding 5000 PPM!
The curve decreases slightly during the lunch break, when office occupancy is less dense.

environmental code

“The State and its public establishments, local authorities and their public establishments as well as private individuals contribute, each in the area of its competence and within the limits of its responsibility, to a policy whose objective is the implementation of the recognized right of everyone to breathe air that does not harm their health.

This action of general interest consists of preventing, monitoring, reducing or eliminating atmospheric pollution, preserving air quality and, for these purposes, saving and rationally using energy. Protection of the atmosphere includes the prevention of air pollution and the fight against greenhouse gas emissions. »

Article L220-1 of the Environmental Code

Solutions for less CO2 and healthier air

Now let's do the same test by opening the windows regularly during the day.

As a reminder, our office is not located in a polluted area... And as the room does not have a ventilation system, we have simply opted for natural ventilation, which remains the most effective when it is possible.

CO2 PPM

This time it appears very clearly that the CO2 level, expressed in PPM, fluctuates as windows are opened. Thanks to the Smart & Connective global solution, the collection of data over several days also allowed us to optimize the opening times necessary for good air renewal, without overcooling the room in winter or heating it up in summer.

Ministerial recommendations concerning aeration and/or ventilation

Below is an extract from the recommendations of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Reintegration, to guarantee the good health of employees, particularly in times of health crisis.

“Aeration – ventilation:

Controlling air quality and aeration/ventilation of closed spaces is an essential measure for preventing situations at risk of aerosolization of SARS-CoV-2.

This ventilation must be ensured:

  • – preferably in a natural way: doors and/or windows open permanently or failing that for 10 minutes every hour, so as to ensure air circulation and renewal;
  • – failing that, thanks to a mechanical ventilation system in compliance with regulations, in good working order and verified, ensuring an adequate supply of fresh air (see appendix 2).

 In any case and in order to ensure good aeration/ventilation of the premises, it is recommended to encourage the measurement of carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide – CO2) in the air, at significant locations of attendance and during periods of high attendance, in particular when the recommendations for natural ventilation cannot be respected (Cf. HCSP opinions and in particular those of October 14, 2020 and April 28, 20213).

It is recommended that any CO2 measurement above a threshold of 800 ppm leads to action in terms of ventilation/air renewal and/or reduction in the number of people admitted to the room. Above 1000 ppm, it is recommended that evacuation of the premises be offered for sufficient ventilation to achieve CO2 levels below 800 ppm. The measurement of CO2 in the air must be carried out at significant locations of attendance and during periods of real busy attendance. »

 Ministry of Labor, Employment and Reintegration

NATIONAL PROTOCOL TO ENSURE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF EMPLOYEES IN BUSINESSES FACING THE COVID-19 EPIDEMIC

Version applicable as of January 3, 2022

IoT sensor

Air quality sensors to help employee well-being

 

If it seems obvious to everyone that the air is purer when it is renewed regularly, how can we know the CO2 level in the occupied room in real time?

To do this, there are many air quality sensors on the market. To choose the one that suits you best, you must adapt it to your type of building. Depending on your needs, it may not be necessary to measure certain rates for example. The most important being the CO2 and VOC rates (in the case of a private or public tertiary building, which is not a factory or an industrial platform in contact with particular chemicals/harmful products).

  • CO2:

On a global scale, carbon dioxide is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions linked to human activity. At the scale of a room or an office, the concentration of CO2 can be dangerous for health: headaches, respiratory problems, visual disturbances, etc. In the case of the Covid-19 crisis, the more CO2 there is in a room, the more potentially contaminated micro-droplets will be.

Before rushing for the box of Aspirin, know that regular and sufficiently long ventilation of the room is quite effective in restoring healthier air and thus respecting the health of the occupants.

  • COV:

Volatile Organic Compounds are found in the air due to certain materials, products used for work or even deodorant aerosols wrongly considered to be harmless. We then go in search of sources of formaldehyde or phthalates in the products used. VOCs are especially dangerous because of their high volatility.

It is also important to measure humidity levels to ensure optimal air quality.

Good to know :

For buildings open to the public, according to the Environmental Code, it is obligatory to “monitor, at their own expense, the air quality inside the premises of their establishment”.

Let's go further with a global solution to improve indoor air quality!

Air quality sensors are good. A global solution to monitor, alert and prevent is better!

Concretely, the IoT Smart & Connective solution not only makes it possible to know CO2 and VOC levels in real time, but it also makes it possible to alert occupants when the levels reach high thresholds.

In addition, thanks to data collection, the building operator will be able to anticipate, prevent and educate occupants about good practices for their health and well-being.

On the other hand, it is also possible (depending on the installations in your building) to automatically trigger a ventilation cycle as soon as the threshold defined in your Smart & Connective settings is reached. So, if you never want to exceed the ventilation rate CO2 of 1000 PPM and you consider the rate of 800 PPM to be satisfactory, your Smart & Connective solution will start the ventilation automatically and turn it off when the rate has dropped sufficiently.

No more need to have your nose on your sensor, the system warns you and/or reacts automatically (for buildings equipped with ventilation systems).

Finally, the Smart & Connective solution also makes it possible to anticipate and identify malfunctions of electrical devices. Indeed, if your ventilation consumes too much or too little energy compared to its normal operation, the system will send an alert to your maintenance team in order to recommend maintenance of the equipment and thus maintain the health benefits of ventilation. occupants.

In all this confusion around the health crisis and the difficulty of respecting barrier gestures on a daily basis, let's stay positive (well, negative but positive. See?)!

We are now ready and educated on good practices to breathe healthier air. Every day, Covid epidemic or not.

solution IoT smart & connective