Environmental monitoring for the ‘S’ in ESG

Environmental monitoring

Environmental monitoring of buildings is essential to ensure compliance with the society aspect of ESG reporting.

Environmental monitoring technologies such as sensors, building management systems and cloud-based solutions help keep buildings safe and healthy in line with the requirements of new ESG regulation. Healthy buildings mean happier and more productive employees.

A living example of environmental monitoring to improve human health and comply with the ‘S’ in ESG is the new Eden project in Manchester, England which has been designed to be net zero carbon in operation.

Eden has been designed to provide occupants with a healthier, more productive standard of working. Fresh, clean air results in better comfort, higher cognitive functioning, increases our ability to reason, retain information, and maintain focus (research has shown that productivity improvements of between 8-11 per cent are not uncommon as a result of better air quality).

For these reasons, Eden has enhanced fresh air rates (2 litres per second/m2 more than industry best standards) and introduced CO2 sensors to provide occupants with optimal air quality throughout and reduce energy consumption. Eden has also utilised enhanced filtration in the air handling units and infrastructure in the Building Management System to allow occupiers to install continuous Indoor Environmental Quality monitoring.

Eden will also be home to Europe’s largest living wall which will increase biodiversity in the city of Salford in Manchester. The 115,000 sq ft workplace has been designed using the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)‘s 2035 – 2050 standards and will achieve NABERS 5.5 Design for Performance.

Cloud based platforms like Spica’s GemEx Engine can give live updates on water and air quality, to automatically identify risks before they arise. This is vital to satisfy compliance guidelines and to keep employees safe, therefore preventing illnesses and absences. Cleaning management software uses real time sensor technology to enhance the entire cleaning process, resulting in a healthier, cleaner workplace. 

“Environmental monitoring technology is also beneficial to the day to day life of employees,” said Cecilia Rihm, energy product manager at Spica Technologies. “GemEx Engine platform feeds real time data into an easy to use app, giving users intel on temperate, noise and occupancy levels. This means employees can make informed decisions on which location in the office best suits their needs. It’s also important that employees feel confident that employers are providing them with a healthy, safe and accommodating working environment.”

Against a backdrop of increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, environmental monitoring for buildings is more important than ever. Spica’s Ecopilot software, for example, monitors and auto-adjusts HVAC setpoints, external weather conditions and the thermal load of a building to maintain optimal levels, whilst reducing energy costs and carbon emissions. This is crucial if property owners hope to make the necessary reductions to meet their net zero targets and mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

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