Time for a major upgrade of buildings to create healthier indoor environments, says new NEPC report:
Government must seize the post-pandemic opportunity to mandate long-term improvements to infection control in commercial, public and residential buildings to reduce the transmission of future waves of COVID-19, new pandemics, seasonal influenza and other infectious diseases, according to a report published today by the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC). Infection control must also be coordinated with efforts to improve energy efficiency and fire safety, to support the three goals of safe, healthy and sustainable buildings.
In the event of another severe pandemic during the next 60 years, the societal cost to the UK could equate to £23billion a year, according to an economic assessment that informed the report and that is thought to be the first analysis of its kind following the COVID-19 pandemic. Even without the extreme circumstances of a pandemic, the report estimates that seasonal diseases cost the country as much as £8 billion a year in disruption and sick days. Improving ventilation, air quality and sanitation in buildings could minimise transmission, reducing the number of people infected, thereby saving lives and reducing ill health and its societal impacts.
Commissioned in 2021 by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance FRS FMedSci, the NEPC research, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), set out to identify the measures needed in the UK’s built environment and transport systems to reduce transmission of infectious diseases.
Ensuring that buildings and transport systems are designed, operated, managed and regulated for infection control is critical to minimise transmission, states the report. However, the pandemic has highlighted that many of the UK’s buildings are not being operated according to the current air quality standards, because they were built to previous standards or before standards were introduced, they have been modified over time, or are not operated as originally intended. People should be able to have confidence that the air in the buildings they use is safe to breathe, just as they would expect the water to be safe to drink.
To read more click this link: https://raeng.org.uk/news/time-for-a-major-upgrade-of-buildings-to-create-healthier-indoor-environments-says-new-nepc-report
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