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World Ventil8 Day launches

Today (8 November) marks the first annual World Ventil8 Day, an international awareness campaign to promote the importance of better building ventilation in supporting health, wellbeing, and productivity.

Spearheaded by healthy building champion Professor Cath Noakes OBE, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at the University of Leeds, the campaign is being driven by UK bodies BESA (the Building Engineering Services Association), CIBSE (the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers), IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) and FETA (the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations), who are working alongside international partners AREA (the umbrella body for European contractors’ organisations), ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) and UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme).

UK academics backing the initiative include from the universities of Nottingham, Leeds, Loughborough, Sheffield, Strathclyde, and Imperial College London, many of whom are part of the Future Urban Ventilation Network.

‘Improving Ventilation for a Healthier World’

The campaign aims to celebrate ventilation through a series of in-person and online events and discussions around the world. It will showcase scientific and practical evidence demonstrating how good ventilation can reduce exposure to air pollutants and infectious diseases, which aids human productivity, improves sleep, and reduces mould and damp in buildings.

Professor Noakes commented: “Good ventilation is part of creating a sustainable and low carbon environment, by using technology well to balance air quality, energy use and comfort. It is critical to making buildings more resilient to health threats including our regular battles with the transmission of colds and flu around crowded indoor spaces.”

The World Ventil8 Day website includes a range of free resources including ‘top facts’ about the role of ventilation, and different methods that can be adapted depending on the age, design, location, and purpose of the building.  It also explains how building operators can manage the complex trade-off between ventilation, energy consumption, climate change, urban pollution, noise, comfort, and security.

BESA’s Head of Technical, Graeme Fox commented: To make buildings more resilient we need both short-term solutions and long-term strategies. For example, local air cleaners based on HEPA filtration or UVC disinfection are important tools, but they are not an alternative to improving the general ventilation either through natural or mechanical means.

“Far too many buildings are simply under-ventilated and by raising awareness we hope to encourage many more owners and operators to make this a much higher priority and so safeguard the health and well-being of millions of people around the world.”

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