Ask the experts Transcript

Ask the experts Transcript

Created 12 April 2021

During our Ask the experts session we brought together the speakers from our first three podcast episodes. During this podcast our experts talk about air quality recommendations for buildings to help stop the spread of airborne viruses. Listen to the podcast and read the transcript to learn more

The Transcript

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Hello. Good morning.


We have a panel here of an expert panel today to discuss clean air and very many pertaining questions. Expert panel comprises of myself as Chair, if you'd like giving the questions Simon Birkett


Right, yeah. Hello, yes. Good morning everyone, thank you for including me.


And I'll ask you to introduce yourselves after a few moments, Doctor Jonathan Gawn at Bristol University and ISTR Chairman.


Yeah, independent biosafety consultant and serve the Istr executive Committee. Got it wrong straight away I sorry about that, Atze Boerstra, vice presidents of Rebar.


And we're very glad to have a European wide perspective on this, Tobias Zimmer Vice President, Global products management from Camfil.


So, maybe I could start with you, Simon, if you could spend a minute just to tell me a little bit about your activities and campaigning for clean air in London.


Thank You, Peter. So for the last 15 years, I have been running cleaner in London, which I established. and we campaigned for full compliance with World Health Organization guidelines for air quality throughout London and elsewhere.


And for four years, between 2015 and 2019, I was the Air Pollution Stake Holder on the top steering group for UN Environment's sixth Global Environment Outlook, which was the most comprehensive report on the environment since 2012.


Thank you.


Over to Jonathan. If you could give a quick background. Yeah, So originally, I was a researcher. I have a PHD. In biology since I worked in government health care and academic laboratories. I'm now a biosafety expert. I'm a former HSA Inspector of biological agents, and a former University biological safety officer.


I'm also chair of the ISTR exec the chair elect of the ISTR executive committee. And our members are experts in safety and technology and research and many of them are bio safety specialists as well.


And we have been using ventilation infiltration to control air borne pathogens for many decades.


Thank you very much.


Over to you Atze if you could give me it or give us a bit of detail about your bice activities.


Sorry about the cat in the background thread. I feel bad to chase it away. So ill keep it


I'm a vice president of Rebar, the European Federation of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Associations like 60, actually connected to Rebar.




My day job is I'm a consultant, A person consultancy company specialized in Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Environment and from The Hague In the Netherlands.


On next week, actually I started two days a week at the Delft University as the Chair of Building Services Innovation.


The past I've been quite active in easy at the International Society for Quality, so I have a link that.


Oh, that's very good. And finally, Tobias?


Yes, thank you.


Yeah, I am Tobias Zimmer. I'm Vice President Global Product Management and International Standards Camfil, and I work, for Camfil, now, for 12 years.


in my role, I'm strongly involved in European Association work being Eurovent, AVAR , but also in international standards or both on ISO level at the level. Of course, was a strong focus on air filtration, but also standards related directly to ventilation more in general.


Thank you very much device. But I might just throw in my two pen. I've been in filtration for about 30 years, about half. Well, just over half that time with Camfil and I've also been in the fan industry and manufacturing air conditioning air handling units. And so I've had a wide spread of experience over many years, and I'm very much interested in air quality technical standards and effective solutions. Which of course, being from my background would include air filtration.


Although there are many other technologies around at the moment, and I guess looking at the questions, I need to thank everybody who's registered. Shown interest, and given us so many good questions, and we'll do our very best to get through as many of them as we can today and looking at others that are starting to come in as well. So, please feel free during the course of the conversation if you wish to add to the list of questions.


So what we really need to be doing, I guess, is looking at the background to some extent. I think a lot of the concern regarding air quality and indoor air quality today is reflected in the rise of the COVID 19 infection risk, particularly in indoor spaces in buildings.


And that is where the risk to health is seen. And over the period it has seen that a lot of the focus has been starting to be placed in airborne droplets aerosol particles.


And, I guess, that alongside the outdoor air pollution, with the fine particles coming in through supply, it seems as though fine particles are very much a focus for attention in terms of these particular problems.


Maybe, I could start with Jonathan, going just to give us sort of feel for how he thinks about airborne transmission at the moment, and how that is developing, and what he could suggest might be looking at in terms of A means of control, if you like, reducing risk.


Yeah, sure. So, I think one of the things we have to remember is that the transmission of viruses is a very complicated phenomenon. And what you see with different viruses is, different types of transmission, some of which have more than one. So covid the virus. that causes COVID 19 is probably trends transmitted in multiple ways.


I think it's becoming more, and more clear, that actually, this airborne transmission route is probably the predominant one, which means this is about and what you tend to see, sorry, is that you tend to see the people, that contract, that are infected with. The virus are people that have been in close contact. And so within usually within a meter or certainly within two meters of somebody who is infectious, very often that means that they've got symptoms.


And it looks like that there is you know an airborne component, so people are expelling virus in airborne, droplets and breathing them in.


Now, one of the things you do say as I say is that generally speaking what we can see is that people tend to have to be within 2 meters. So that's why we have the social distancing rules. But obviously, you know, we all know there is, is airborne virus in the air.


So therefore, there is you know, definitely a role to play in using ventilation, to control the spread of virus. And we've been in the biosafety community, obviously working in laboratories and high containment facilities that you would use if you were doing research on something like sars, covid too.


We have been using, you know, ventilation, too, control and it's the, the processes are, well, we removed the, the, the air in a particular direction. So it's away from the breathing zone. We then filter the air, so that the air that comes out is, therefore, plate.


And there's also the contact transmission, so it's which is picking up virus from surfaces.


So it sounds like there are many things to think about.


Yeah, it sounds like quite a complicated picture than just one that actually, whether I could start to look at the possible guidance that's been made available about this.


We've had the World Health Organization recently bring out a guide with ventilation in mind, and I was wondering if I could ask Tobias about this and the air filters that might be focused on in that sort of situation.


But that's little difficult to answer here, because on the one side, it's great that the WHO addresses the topic of indoor air quality and the need for improved filtration.


On the other side, you might debate if the level is actually high enough, that's recommended. Secondly, there are a few issues when it comes to up to date Europe and European regulations.


So it's partly referring to an outdated standards and let's, and also the level of recommendations. So recommend being immersed 14, or Hold, they call it F8, or EPM 170 is maybe a little too low. It's definitely better than nothing.


If we look at other recommendations, like, for instance, from Reaver, you see higher recommendations.


Maybe I could bring in, say about that to talk about Reaver and the guidance that's currently there, I believe it's been modified several times about four times, That's my last count to sat likely to still be changing as time goes by.


Or are we getting close to her, a working solution, if you like on that?


The insight about the virus changes over time so actually I think it's a good thing to be changes every 2 or 3 months because we tried to tune in with the latest insights.


In Remembrance.


We will, first version was from beginning of April, so we will start. We thought it was important to be fast, because some people, building managers, got some inputs.


We help them actually to decide what to do with existing HVAC systems.


So that was priority at the time. And actually, this week, we had another meeting about few middle things, not major changes that we think should be changed, and it should be put into fifth version. So, it's not like, we don't know what we wanted to do. Like every 2 or 3 months, we updated in relation to the latest insights or maybe practical questions, we got that, will not cancel each other.


Having said there's one general remark is we have, from this topic being very specific about that, the guidance we give.


It gives it talks about ventilation, about over windows, about filtration.


So several billing service system related aspects, but the HTTP stayed very key, and Jonathan was referring to that to that.


If you want to fight covid, you have to look at several things: hand hygiene, keeping distance.


And also on the air quality ventilation side. So I would like to emphasize that.


We don't think that if you do only things on the side of ventilation air filtration that you'll save, we strongly believe that if you do only things on the side of just washing hands and keeping adjacent, so you do have to do the mix. And you see that in Germany, for example, they have this approach called A, H, A, L.


So keep a distance plus your hands. Use your masks, and make sure it has moved to the ventilation. And I think that that summarize it very well.


Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. About what's available out there to alert the general public.


Can the importance of air quality and the latest yet, UK guidance?


Yeah, I think, if I can just sort of, step back, come, make a couple of points. So, first, I think, look, I think, the most important thing is with Covid, it is that the science is saying, and Jonathan confirms.


And we all know that covid, can be transmitted through the air.


What we also know is that people like the World Health Organization and Reaver and many others are putting guidance out there about how to actually tackle covid and air pollution in the air.


I think the, the only problem that we've identified is the fact that a number of these guides don't include the latest international law, European standards, when they refer to things. So, we just need to do that one simple thing, which is just make sure that the guidance reflects the latest international standards.


So, if I can answer your question, but just put, make a comment first, which is just for the sake of good order.


Camfil has been a sponsor of cleaner in London for 10 years, camfil sponsored campaign, to build public understanding of indoor air quality.


Doesn't put any obligations that are no incentives on us to promote products, but I'm very happy to say that the most wonderful group of people, and I like their products, I'm not required to say that, So, they've been a great sponsor of our campaign. In terms of the information that's out there. There are several different things, so the first is that there a World Health Organization, Air Quality Guidelines.


They were published their data 2005.


They were actually published in 2006, and they set standards for what we call short term exposure to air pollution and long term. Which is typically, well, it's always an average of one year.


Those guidelines have been out there.


There is no safe level that the scientists have identified for exposure to particles. The PM 1 0 PM 2.5, which is particles as a lump of everything.


I don't quite know, I don't have inside information, but it's expected that those World Health Organization guidelines will be updated as soon as May or June this year.


And that that will really shake up the air pollution world because, again, I don't have inside information, but I think some of those standards, they may not be halved as in going from 10 to 5, or 40 to 20, but they could come down a long way. So I think it will give people quite a shock about how many people are exposed to health problems.


So there are the health guidance guidelines out there.


You can also look at monitors that are real-time monitors. And I will put some links in the chat window which from scientists and from the government, which show day-to-day levels of pollution, either for short-term or long-term exposure. 


There's also modelling available, which shows you even down to a 20 square meter grid, what air pollution looks like around the building or in the street. And you can do your own monitoring as well.


There's a, I'll put some links, as I say on the chat window.


But I think the main thing is that there is a lot of information out there.


And I would point to one specific bit of guidance, which is the World Health Organization, housing and health guidelines.


And I'll just read one sentence from that, which is that “in the absence of updated or endorsed specific guideline values, the air quality guidelines for outdoor or ambient air quality are considered applicable for indoor air exposure as well”.


So the key message there is, guess what, the health standards outside really should be the same as the health standards inside, unless there's specific guidance, otherwise.


Thank you very much, indeed.


That sounds very good piece of information to bear in mind that those guidelines given by the WHO are applicable wherever your breathing the air, whether it be outside, whether it be inside the building, we all have the same lungs. We're all breathing the same air. And the same guy. It's so obvious. You think it’s not necessary to say, but unfortunately, it is.


It needs to be made very clear that. Thank you very much for that.


Maybe I could come back to you again, Tobias, quickly about  air filtration standards, because it might be handy to just mention what they are, the current particle filter standard, Hepa filter standards and molecular field for standards, and so that people are aware.




Because there are some old ones which have been around.


There is some confusion right now on the market, especially when it comes to the HVAC filters, because in Europe, we used to have the  EM779 for the general ventilation filters.


Well, that standard has been actually replaced in Europe in 2018, so three years in the past, by a global standard, the ISO 16890, which is since summer 2018, developed standard in Europe for that.


And the big upside of this new standard is that it replaces old terminology, which was only understandable for experts saying F7, F8, F9 to a filter, which doesn't tell anyone really, what it does, accept your filter expert with something that's understandable.


F7 filter is now an EPM 1, 60% filter or minimum EPM 150%.


Bias, what should your particulate matter below one micron meter?


Why is that going?


Why is that so important class it yes, I will elaborate on that, because that's just mentioned, the penetration of particulate matter P M one.


So, particles below one micrometre or PM 2.5 micrometres, is the actual critical exposure, you get them there as a human. There's a lot of evidence, scientific evidence that the smaller the particles get, the more critical they are to human health.


So, that's why, for the protection of humans, we only look at PM 1 or even the Hepa that even smaller particles.


And that's why it's a big difference. If you say, I need a P F seven filter, because no one knows why, or what you say, I need a PM 1 60 percent filter, which simply says it takes out 60 percent of the P M one, that goes through that filter.


That's a very simple calculation that anyone will understand. It much more, much more intelligent discussion. about should your supply air be filtered PM one, 60%.


Or PM one 80%, F seven or F nine, which is only something for an expert.


We can easily see that obviously, if we talk about a city like London, where you have a high particulate air pollution outside.


Obviously, your supplier should be at least reduced by 80% before it gets into the room.


Otherwise, you will have the indoor air pollution in the room, or the outdoor air pollution in the room, because it will actually accumulate in the room.


So that's why this standard is a big step forward.


And it's whenever you think of protecting people the PM one is actually at the right level and that applies even outside the covid at the time.


But if we look at Malware Covid the current situation.


We all know that the critical transmission wire aerosols are quite small particles better in the air.


So, if we have a high efficient on small particles will be no, the efficiency of the bigger particles will be even higher.


So then, you can estimate some safety level.


Definitely, you will speak about PM 10, for instance, and you really don't know much about efficiency against the virus.


We've got ISO 16890 then for particle filters for general HVAC use.


For hepa filters, the standard is. we have another standard the EN 1822 which is even more precise when we're really getting more into the covid situation or into Cleanroom environments.


Because these filters are measured at the so-called MPPS, are we getting technical?


It's most penetrating particle size, measure, a wide range of particles, up to very small ones.


You find the minimum of the curve and you rate the filter at its minimum efficiency.


Sorry, guys, worst possible case when, you know, no matter what particle size you have, you will have at least this efficiency.


You look for instance at what's very often mentioned in the guidelines at age H13 or H14 filter for.


An H13 will have a guaranteed efficiency in the worst-case at the most penetrating particle size of 99.95%.


The H14, even 9 more, 99.99, 5%.


Maybe I can bring in


Yes, absolutely, please, Jonathan. Jonathan looks like you've got a comment there


Yeah, I mean,  just to reinforce what bias is saying really, for example, we've been handling viruses in laboratories for many, many years, one of the in the high containment laboratories and even in the lower containment laboratories, we use hepa filtration to clean up air. We’re handling virus in at levels


That are way, way, way in excess of anything that you would ever encounter in an office environment, because somebody is expelling the virus because we're because we're growing it.


In laboratories.


We're doing create aerosol, you know everything from Corona virus to the Ebola virus, to, you know, when the types of viruses that we can grow, we will grow with them. And we use HIPAA filtration. The standard, even, at the highest containment in the highest containment facilities. The standard is H14. And we are very, very confident that, an H14 filter, because, if you know what we're not saying, you know, laboratory mediated infections.


If things are handled correctly and the air is filtered correctly, we're very, very confident than H14 filter will pull out virus in high quantities.


So that you've got complete confidence at an H14 and EN1822 hepa filter will protect you and protect anybody involved in the research facility against, I spoke to that.


A lot of the evidence for that will come from the lower containment laboratories because, you know, so for example, what we would term containment level two, which is where you would handle most strains of influenza. For example, very often, they will be handled in a recirculating unit that you, that completely relies on filtration.


to protect the people in the room. And, you know, we don't see laboratory acquired infections of influenza in those in those circumstances.


Yeah. But that's good to hear from an expert, because I guess the covid 19 virus particles are ranging, I don't know what you would call the size of the virus itself.


Typically, I don't know.


Point one.


Virus itself is obviously very, very small. But we have to remember that it's not the virus size. It's important. It's the it's the aerosol particle that is contained in. That's important. 1 is 1.


I mean, viruses like coronavirus are very, very susceptible to drying out. So you know, once it's dried out, it becomes non-viable, and when infected.


Which is one of the reasons why actually, it's probably mostly over two meters. Is that actually you've got, you've got a complicated situation there. So I'm expelling virus. You know, the further away it gets more dilute. It gets, the more the ventilation system is going to affect it, but it's also drying out. It's being it's being inactivated by UV. So, you know, the viability is going down the further away from me. It gets as well.


So it's those it's the it's the aerosol, liquid particles that are important.


Those are the things that need to be caught, not necessarily the virus itself, and the bigger particles, of course, have gravity to pull them down to ground surface this pretty quickly, I think.


Once you go over about 10 microns, you're talking.


Yeah, yeah.


So, give a short comment.


Please, I'd say we've had a big discussion about this in the Netherlands, because it looks like all the medical people, in case you know if they're going to think that anything bigger than five microns, which fall within one meter to the fore.


If you do talk to people who are specialized in, for example, airplane environments or people from University of Amsterdam, a university of Twente who are specialized and aerosols. They tell me.


Well, actually, it depends a bit on the on the kind of currency you have in a room, depending upon the ventilation system that easily particles as big as 30, 40, 50 micrograms, they can still pass this 1.5 meter distance.


So this whole thinking that anything bigger than five micrograms falls on the door is is is big mistake. That's what they tell me. It's, it's wrong, Yeah. So now, we get episodes where, you know, air pollution comes in from, you know, hundreds of miles out. So you're right, you're absolutely right.


Jonathan, I'm sorry.


Yeah. It's an important point that's being made, because one of the, one of the issues here is, obviously, you know, if in an ambient room, you know, you would expect particles to fall out and they will fall out at different rates, depending on how big they are. one of the things that needs to be borne in mind is that a virus, as I've been explaining that, actually, because it loses viability as it goes away. You know.


A virus, um, the and it's infectious at the point where you come into contact with it, which we've got to be very careful that we don't mix up what sort of particularly, how we would control particularly pollutants or a cloud of toxic gas with infectious virus, actually makes a very important point. And that is actually the air current.


Carrying age becomes quite important, because he felt if, if the air gets taken from me to you, you get exposed, and you become infected, even before it gets anywhere near a filter. So the important thing in terms of Airflow is actually to take it away from people where they're going to breathe it in.


So, actually, in an ideal scenario, you would use something like a clean room scenario, where you would pull it away to the floor, or pull it straight up into the air, to, because, you know, that, by doing that, you, you stopped that infection chain. And we need to, we just need to bear in mind that actually you can't just dilute, you've got to.


You've got to place the air as well as dilute it.


So that's what feeds, the sort of mass outbreaks, as it's in concentrated populated air spaces inside buildings where you get sort of restaurants or theatres or choirs is another one where they make a problem. So, obviously, the two meter rule can break down in certain circumstances.


And one of those, is, if the air current is exactly as, is, as intimate, as if the air current carrying the air.


That, to me, two meter rule will break down, if you're, you know, people that are singing what might well expel further, things like that.


And as I've said before, you know, outbreak epidemiology, out, the kind of the features of an outbreak in a given space, are going to be complicated. It's not going to be all about airflow. It's not going to be all about distance. It's the you know, it's multi-factorial. We've covered that already. But I think there is a hint from some of these outbreaks that have been looked at, that the Airflow has had an impact. And that kind of two meter rule can break down, because the, because the air conditioning system, or the ventilation system, has carried the virus from one person directly to another.


Presumably all infection has to come out of people infected people.


So it won't be projected into the air probably initially, to some extent, or off the touching of the person who's infected and deposit on surfaces, which remain infected for an indefinite period


So sorry, in your view, I mean there's obviously a lot of industrial settings.


There was a recent case of a meat plant, for example, where several hundred people were infected and that was probably a mixture of the two types of transmission vectors. But I'm just wondering in your view presumably you would think the reduction in concentrations of these aerosols would to some extent increased levels of safety in an air space, but you have to be careful.


About half the air moves in the air space so that the currents saw controlled.


Well, clearly, especially in a very confined space, like a small office, I think, you know, that, you know, it'll start to behave a little bit more like a cloud of toxic gas or particular pollutant in a situation like that.


And obviously, especially if there's no one in there, you know, if someone has been in there and, they've been expelling virus, then kind of, you know, to dilute that virus. Hawaii is a very effective way of, scrubbing it out of the air. It clearly has a role to play.


And I think one of the issues that I just think we need to be careful of is that we don't just rely on dilution.


Dilution is an important factor, um, in certain circumstances. But we have to be very, very careful that we don't use ventilation to make it worse before we get rid of it out the air, OK. So windows might have a case, no role to play in some aspects, but maybe it's not. And flooding the air through supply systems ventilation systems, is probably not a very controlled approach in some respects. Then it's OK, Yeah, and I think it's certainly in older buildings, where you can't control And you know I think I think we're thinking about what you know very much. Got an eye on standards for new buildings here and how you know how will we set buildings up for a variety of reasons? But one of them might be infection control, What? we've got to?


We've just got to bear in mind that, you know, no.


Diluting is better than not diluting.


But where we can control it, where we, where we can really make a difference is if we design the system, so that actually, we can break the chain of infection, right? I'd like to come back to Anthony on this one.


Yeah. And then Simon.


I think if you talk about so current direction is important.


You have to keep in mind that if you have a standard ventilation system in an office, for example, that comes from the ceiling. It always works with mixing the air. So especially if you're in a small space, you kind of end up breathing all the same air. It doesn't matter if you're sitting in a corner in the middle or whatever, unless you are sitting within, like, very close to the one that's breathing out the viruses.


So there's been a lot of discussions with the Public Health Institute here in the Netherlands where, let me put it this way. They don't have too many people who know about coincidence faces. so I always tell all this and this person at the university study 20 or 30 years. But our current direction is a very important aspects. Very, very important aspect is room size because I've studied a couple of outbreaks with churches. For example, are often you see these kind of small side rooms of churches where they did singing with the people.


And if you have a small space which is now mediocre, ventilated, that's much more dangerous than if you have a big air volume that's not very well ventilated. So size really matters.


Sorry, there's a debate here, I guess, as well about principles of Airflow and air distribution, a lot of people using hepa systems. Jonathan has already mentioned, use cleanroom principles where you introduce the air from the top of the room and bring it down to low level, to extract, to recirculate, clean and recirculate. I guess that would be one approach. Other people have other ideas.


What would you say to that?


That's a principle that works quite well.


I, there's a company in the Netherlands that has made like an additional system. You can put an existing elevators that actually pushes the air from above to down. That works pretty well in not too high spaces like it, like in a clean room environment.


But if the last weekend we were involved in, I don't know if you saw it on TV, but an AMS then we had this big dance event, 1500 people.


We were actually there to monitor the air quality, not me, but some of my colleagues and this is a really big, like 50,000 square, cubic meter, or whatever. 


Then of course, is kind of impossible because actually the people that are standing there as a group, they will all have this thermal plumes hot air will go up especially when they start dancing. You get this.


This force goes to above and especially if you're in a group all these little thermal plumes connect So you have a really strong current. That goes from below to up. So then in that situation, it's better to have displacement. ventilation.


You answer the low and you as an Excel system, so it depends very much on the room size on the activity in the room, what principle works best. I know the discussions.


There are counter arguments that say that the infective plumes are projected when people breathe horizontally. And so they're dispersed throughout the airspace. So, you can have a quite an interesting debate about that, and I guess things like air monitoring use, if, you, know, sort of, data And modelling is important, but in terms of cleaning the air and flushing the air, if you like. I think there's a role to play for. You know, sort of general HVAC systems, improved ventilation, and there was a guidance document from the ASHRAE Epidemic. Taskforce came out a few weeks ago, core, recommendations recommending increased combination use of upgraded air. Filters sort of Merv 13, which would be about EPM 170% for a free circulation use and combined with air cleaners.


With effective use of hepa filtration, which I guess would be EN1822, hepas H 14, that sort of thing. I don't know if you've got anything to say on that sort of thing, Tobias, about the different guidance from different quarters.


Change out the filters.


You have a change out filters, you mean, in terms of lifetime, or, in terms of replacing, due to covid


I think there's an argument for energy for changing out of air filters. And there's an argument for minimizing infection for changing out of air filters as well. So, that's two very different approach. Let's let let's stick with the covid 19 Situation to start with.


Yeah, actually, if you were talking about supply air filters, there's no specific reason to upgrade them due to covid


But there might be very well reasons to upgrade them. You related to the outdoor air pollution?


OK, so there is there is a guidance, but can be quite generally used that your Eurovent 423 we can expect a very similar guidance in the upcoming year and a revision of the EN 167983 where supply or the efficiency of supply air filters is recommended, depending on the quality of the room, of course.


So, is it really a health care facility? Is it an office, or is it a place that's randomly used by people?


The second big factor is, of course, what's the outside air.


Obviously, the photo requirement in the Centre of London is a different one than somewhere in North Sweden.


So, at least two into getting back to enter a correlation, there is a correlation between the supply air qualities required, and the outdoor air quality existing in your place, and all of that gives kind of a matrix and proposing.


A recommendation for the quality of the filters, So, for instance, for a place, like, for an office in London, so stay was a simple example, the recommendation would be at least EPM 150 filter system, plus adding gas filtration. When you have a level that you can have at least an improved quality air quality in the room.


While, of course, when you're back now in north of Sweden, probably 1.0 PM, 150 filter will be more than enough.


There is no need for gas filtration, because you might maximum smell the smell of the words from the outside, which sounds like a local air monitoring is called for, really. So people know because these particles are invisible, aren't they? So the only way of really knowing is to measure.


Outdoor air quality is based on the mentioned WHO guidelines.


So that's what should be the long, what is the long term, maximum? that's acceptable.


And there is a formula behind of how much does it need to be reduced for the different supplier closets? Simon, you look at. So you need to say something on this, particularly with regard to London, of course, right.


They need Tobias help in London, I think the just to look at these things fairly simply, I think it's important to remember. I find people are very confused about air filtration ventilation. You know, what is this? Does my air conditioner? clean the air, and of course, it doesn't. So I think it's important to recognize that.


A building can have ventilation air conditioning or heat treatment or air filtration or cleaning or two of those off or, you know, 1 2 or 3 of those. So, just because it has an air conditioning unit doesn't mean it's doing anything else. So, that's important.


It's also exactly, as Tobias said, I mean, we need to address in London the particle problem, because there is no safe level of exposure to these particles. P M one, the sort of particles that as Steve was talking about, but you know, up to PM 10, which are quite big, but we also have a massive nitrogen dioxide problem. It's come down a lot due to the work by successive mayors.


But we have a serious nitrogen dioxide problem from the diesel vehicles in London, and also for it from a lot of gas combustion. So we do need to tackle both types of that air cleaning particles and gasses in a city like London. Just, please there is a lot of information out there for people about, as I start, started, by saying, you know, from official guidance, in terms of air pollution levels, outside buildings, But do bear in mind, that we're going to have this quite dramatic intervention from the World Health Organization.


It later, you know, before the summer, I think, and certainly before, the UN Climate Change conference in November, which, I think good, reduce by a third, or even as much as a half.


The levels, some, the guideline levels. I think that's going to be really quite dramatic.


And people will really start to think again about their exposure to air pollution, so this is a very timely conversation.


Right, so it sounds like we need to look at the available up to date guidelines and standards, and make sure that we follow a particular guidance. I'd like to come back to Tobias again, because he mentioned changing filters to do with covid to which he gave an answer for and supply side.


We didn't quite get the answer on recirculation filters, which I think we could do with addressing and maybe those recirculation filters with the use of a recirculation damper could introduce a or upstream of the supply side filtration.


But maybe that's a longer discussion that we might totally be able to cover today. But the argument for changing filters due to energy and costs. Maybe you could have a quick go at that one, Tobias.


So, you want to have the energy or the recirculation first. That was two different approaches may be recirculation we need more time, but maybe cover the energy. Cost for the year from the energy and cost perspective.


There's actually two approaches how to change air filters the wellness, based on the, on a final pressure drop.


And the other one is based on time.


And if we look at, that's the latest standard set up, and I published on that, on the Energy Efficient Filter, Changing point


That's a new regulation for energy efficient units, where there is, but I follow the, the so-called, actually, the based on pressure drop, so the condition based approach.


Yeah, the recommendation there is much stricter what's used in most of the air handling units today.


For instance, the proposed, the proposed change, I'll point for a P M one filter, would be initial pressure drop of that filter, plus 100 pascals, or three times the initial pascal, the initial pressure drop, whatever is lower, OK, which is much lower than what's used today.


Today, it's very common to use air filter on parts of that filter class up to 300 pascals of pressure drop, which is of course a point. You can't change what this is far away from being the energy optimized point. Right.


So, the reason for that being of course, the energy consumption rises as the pressure drop rises yet significantly.




And you reach a point where the cost of a new air filter is significantly low compared to the energy consumption that would otherwise be incur the cost of it. So it's Absolutely because that's the point we always have to keep in mind.


Unlike many other components of the ventilation system, an air filter replacing an air filter is a relatively low cost activity, which actually will reduce the energy consumption significantly.


Often, our filter earlier will save you much more than the air filter, including the work will cost.


I say, Yeah, Simon, you got a comment.


Yeah, just I think that's that. That's great, what Tobias says, I think we do need to think about energy, but, I think, I think facilities managers need to think about energy and the cleanliness of the air in buildings.


So in a bit, I appreciate people have sort of been very focused on energy, but we do need to think about, you know, whether we are complying with the latest World Health Organization Guidelines for air quality in Buildings, and the latest standards. So one way of thinking about it is facilities. Managers need to be able to walk and chew gum.


And I'm sure they can and it's about doing both. Those things, I think, is really important. So it's not complicated, we can all walk and chew gum.


And that's what it's about. Let's deal with energy and let's keep a clean, thank you. So as to two approaches of, obviously, with covid 19, it's a quality, But we need to bear in mind that the current situation, where sustainability is a key points as well.


The other thing I would say is that we do need to look at the whole of the system, because I'm really pretty sort of, well, a bit sort of shocked to share this with you, but I actually looked inside ducks on one occasion. And there was an open cement bag in there.


So there were air filters.


But basically, it was blowing air that some builder had left in a cement bag through the air filtration system. So, you know, we do need to look at the filters. We need to check the ducts are clean, and that they're cleaned regularly, so we need to look at the whole system and do it properly because I was really quite shocked when I saw that. It sounds like maintenance of HVAC systems is a key component in all lists. So good design, good selection, good maintenance, and also air monitoring to check that we're actually getting, delivery of what's required, clean air that's fit for people to breathe without resigning.




Just give an example in relation to that, because, yeah, discussions, because you can come up with all kinds of ideas about how to design new buildings, but to operate existing buildings, in an intelligent way.


Personally, I think this is, generally speaking, looking very well, also on the energy performance, I noticed on the health side that you should do both, during epidemic, I've been doing a couple of projects in nursing homes lately.


And I think it's kind of obvious if you have a winter where there's a lot of influenza and, or a lot of covid, that at least you in this specific winter, you decides to if you have a demand control system, for example, that normally is kind of limiting the amount of fresh air in like communal meeting room for, for the elderly people. At least this winter, you try to get the most out of your ventilation system that you put. The set points, maybe at 600 PPM and CO two at 1200


This, to us, maybe all quite logical, and I see a lot of buildings, but people don't do this. They. Only think about it.


Then we arrived at January this month.


So depending on what kept me going for 9 or 10 months already, and if I tell them, I mean, if you read the newspaper, you read the Dutch Riva guidance about this.


And to make things even worse, because people, of course, want to talk about complicated things and introducing filters or whatever actually nursing homes is, a nice way. You have a good chance to do things with filters. But that's a moral issue.


Lately, we were in a nursing home where the system was not working for a couple of weeks already. Nobody was noticing those really simple things.


Um, we were involved in some experiments with people, not the one in Amsterdam were at the start of the event, the one operating system put everything into the circulation mode. And the idea was to keep it on for the whole session, which, of course is very dangerous during this time.


So, just general awareness on how you are using your building server systems, and how you should be, or could be using it, Looking at energy, or looking at health and comfort, are looking at both.


There's still a lot of work to do there, I guess.


Conscious of the fact that there have been many questions I've been trying to cover, I've had about 30 or 40 questions come through, and it would take the whole session to read them out, so I've been trying to cover the gist of what they're saying, and what we've been talking about. I've just had a question about molecular filtration. An energy consumption, by that, we, Tobias, briefly mentioned molecular filters, They use defer in city centres, removal of nitrogen dioxide, And we can remember the recent problem, the tragic case of Deborah, who unfortunately died at the age of nine due to the effects of exposure to nitrogen dioxide in the city centre.


And that would be one of the main sorts of good reasons for using molecular filtration in, for example, Central London, or other major cities across Europe.


So, it's important to bear in mind that whenever you design a filter system, that the energy consumption, which is in particular, the operating pressure drop is minimized, and there are configurations of filters to do that. But also you need the capacity of the filter to make sure it lasts a reasonable length of time between change outs. So these are important characteristics of air filters. So that's my little 2 penance there. I'm just wondering if we could quickly move on to 1 or 2, if the other questions. Maybe you could talk a bit about this one, Jonathan. How will the pandemic experience influenced the future of biosafety regulation?


So that's something you could give a quick answer to that.


I'm not, I'm not sure. Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by biosafety. I think you know, obviously you know where, I'm from Biosafety is you know obviously preventing people from infecting themselves whilst working at a laboratory on infectious agents. So, you know in terms of whether or not the pandemic or have a big impact on how that side of it is regulated.


I think there's, there's definitely some questions over how we classify organisms because, obviously of all pathogens are given a hazard grouping which determines how you have to handle them in the laboratory.


So, code size codes, two was, made a hazard grid three, which means you have to use it in a high containment, containment level three laboratory, which obviously, you know, have the potential certainly in the early, early days of slowing down research. So, I think there's, there's, there's possibly some, some questions to be asked around that.


But, I don't, I don't see, the pandemic changing, the biological safety aspects, significantly, obviously, in terms of public health. And how we apply.


Um, how we apply some of the principles that we are, What, we have learned through biosafety.


All that we've learned through the pandemic and applying that that knowledge and that information to improve making better buildings, healthier buildings.


And as I've said before, breaking chains of infection so that, you know, it's not just it's not just sars, cov two and covid 19. You know, we're talking about influenza in the common cold and lost work days because people are getting sick in buildings. And, you know, it's not and it's not just infectious agents as making people sick in buildings as I'm sure, you know, people like, Simon will attest to, you know.


There are lots of things that are making people sick and building And we can: we can apply.


You know, I think it's  time for us all to come together and to think about well, you know, what is what's what are the important things to consider.


A pandemic is a we hope a once in a lifetime or maybe twice that lifetime occurrence.


Is it worth designing a building, to reduce transmission of airborne viruses? Maybe it is What is it more important to consider air pollution? Maybe it is we need to work out what the priorities are, and make sure that we design our buildings appropriately.


I think you're right on that. We need to, if you like, be optimistic, but also be, well, aware that this issue that we've got today might well represent itself in the not too distant future. And we need to take all precautions.


I think there's a good scientific principle, the precautionary principle that we need to more widely adopted.


I think I don't know at see if you've got anything to say on, on how Riva would see the situation in terms of maybe coming up with practical solutions.


Moving into the future with your guidance, Certainly with regard to air filtration, I think there's a an increased level of debate that should take place amongst the all the other solution options that are being put forward at the moment.


How would you feel in your organization?


These things can be addressed moving forward.


Yeah. Maybe I just talked about awareness and I don't want to feel frustrated. But we all know this from if you if you do a design project and of course a lot of people connected to even have this experience too.


Then there's often a lot of attention to the visible part of what the building will and the like, the looking and the entrance and maybe square meters.


And I think a pandemic like this actually shoot Brazil into putting good, building surface systems on the agenda and good air quality, good quality on the agenda again.


I'm not 100% convinced yet. It's maybe a lot of decision makers two years from now will have forgotten all about this because we are vaccinated as if there won't be any other diseases in the future.


Anyhow, other diseases where ventilation and air cleaning will help.


Um, So, generally speaking, we are trying to well, like I said, to create more awareness about indoor air quality, especially.


And, of course, then, it's, it's, there's a lot of material already.


There are good standards, guidelines, and standards that tell you what to do. If you want to reach a certain level of in the air quality in relation to filtration in relation to the ventilation technologies. So, it's not like we do have to do a lot of development. I think it's more about putting it on the agenda, keeping it on the agenda, and convincing people to also spend money on good in the air quality and not just on how buildings look. And maybe jump not just on the energy performance. With good thoughts, maybe, Simon, you've got something to add on to this thread of conversation.


I think it's extremely important that we do learn from this pandemic, but I think the two most important things to me is make sure always that you ask what are the latest international and European and International ISO standards for air filtration energy and so on. And the second thing is it will be extremely important, in fact, critical that all of that guidance is updated.


When these New World Health Organization guidelines come out, which could be May or June this year, because I think they will have quite a dramatic effect. 


And people should assume, as I read out from the guidance, that the Ambient Air Quality Outdoor Air Quality Standards Guidelines, the basic standard inside, unless there's other World Health Organization guidelines, that trump it thank you.


Yeah, I think that's a very interesting and good way of looking at things. Certainly, as far as I'm concerned, I think the problems we face immediately, the moments are very much down to fine particles, PM one. That's where the problem lies. Cleaning air, air cleaning, technologies that are effective, tested, and, as you say, backed up by standards that can be easily demonstrated and repeated.


Tobias, maybe I could bring you in to wrap it up if you'd like on that.


Yeah, I'll try to make it quick because I know we're actually at the end of the time.


I really believe that this pandemic will at least go to bring more attention to the indoor air quality question but what we should always keep in mind but besides protecting us against pandemics or also the besides the negative effects in that bad air quality has


But also improving the air quality is not only a preventive measure to protect us against, diseases was just critical, for sure, but also improving, it actually will help all of us in increased.


 well being in increased performance.


So even if you're not actually in a situation where you are concerned by the air in terms of you, it may make you sick, still, it's worse improving it because there is a positive side to it.


Yeah, absolutely. Good air quality is escalating healthy food or a healthy drinks.


We all think about what we eat.


We all think about, it looks healthy, but what do we breathe?


We really think about that, contribute to our well being and performance, and there's enough scientific proof that it can enough of clean air.


It's something that will improve your performance, but it will improve your well-being and of course, it will protect your health.


And that should be reason enough to keep that on the agenda.


Right, thank you very much Tobias. I think that just about wraps it up for us today then. Thank you, everybody. And I think we've had a very good broad base of input here and hopefully thoughts for everybody listening, and thank you for everybody out there.


Thank you very much.


Great session, Right, Questions, OK, thanks.

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