Breathe better with new-age building design
Himanshu Agarwal, co-founder and CEO, Magneto CleanTech, shares how ‘clean zones’ define new-age buildings
A recent research shows that building design can go a long way in limiting indoor air pollution. The way a building is designed, along with the way air-conditioning and ventilation systems are designed, can make a massive difference in determining whether polluted air stays within the four walls or is eliminated easily.
Most engineers and architects understand that appropriate ventilation design, in accordance with ASHRAE 62.1 (Ventilation Rate Procedure), is key to keeping the air in a building clean. Conventional design practices, unfortunately, have limited results for a problem as severe as ours that deals with unprecedented amounts of PM1.0 and PM 2.5, since they focus mostly on managing oxygen levels and CO2 emissions.
That’s why visionary architects, in India and across the world, are experimenting with different modes of ventilation. Many residential and commercial buildings are incorporating small but effective steps to keep the PM2.5 levels in check. They are introducing fresh air treatment and centralized air cleaning systems to manage the air pollution problem, while also collaborating with leading technology providers whose solutions integrate with existing air conditioning and ventilation systems seamlessly to purify the indoor air.
Many architects are aspiring for their designs to comply with IAQ guidelines from global bodies such as the World Health Organisation. They are relying on a strategic mix of natural air purifiers and advanced air-purification technologies provided by startups such as Magneto CleanTech. Magneto CleanTech has developed a magnetic, filter-less product that integrates smoothly with existing air conditioning systems to circulate cleaner air in large office spaces, residential buildings or even small homes. Recently, many leading architects have joined hands with Magneto CleanTech to offer clean air to their customers including HNIs, real estate projects and private offices. Some of these architects include experts like Abhimanyu Dalal Architects, IAD and We Design.
Technologies such as these give very low airflow resistance with high filtration of PM2.5. As HEPA filters are very expensive and impractical, these replacement options work much better. Many large residential and commercial buildings and reputed hotel chains are also adopting such technologies along with incorporating at least a few clean zones on their premises to ensure the well-being of occupants. Luxury property chains in New Delhi such as Taj Hotels, the Oberoi Group and The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, have already incorporated air purifying technologies on their premises to offer the promise of clean and breathable air to their prestigious and premium clientele. Real Estate builders of repute such as Godrej Properties Limited are also embracing a smart mix of advanced air purification technologies, sustainable and eco-friendly design as well as clean zones to attract more buyers.
As building rating systems transition from being focused on just green design and eco-friendliness to laying emphasis on the wellness of occupants; architects, interior designers and builders are quickly looking at creating spaces that offer clean air to breathe along with peace of mind, comfort and tranquility of residents. The WELL Building Standard, which is an evidence-based system for certifying and monitoring the performance of building features also evaluates a premise based on impact on the health and well-being of occupants. Similarly, the IEQ Credit 5.1 in the LEED Standards can also be earned using Magento’s Central Air Cleaner technology.
With more and more attention being paid to such metrics, the trend of clean zones and clean buildings that is catching on the world over is sure to become a central focus in India very soon