With estimates savings of £23 billion per yea if there is another pandemic the social and economic importance to building a resilient infrastructure has been highlighted in this recent report.
Similar to DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) legislation introduced in previous decades the recent report by CIBSE and the Royal Academy of Engineering calls for changes in the law that would make it mandatory for building operators to demonstrate specific actions they are taking to limit transmission of infectious diseases.
The aim of the report is to not only reduce the impact of future pandemics and seasonal illnesses like influenza. But also seek to improve staff welfare and productivity often impacted through what is called “sick building syndrome”. While the health and safety at work act clearly provides legal protection for staff of a safe working environment. This report calls for specific legislation regarding action to control infection and disease transmission.
The report calls for:
- Establishing best practice – the British Standards Institution (BSI) should convene the relevant expertise and develop meaningful standards that are embedded into existing design and operational practices.
- Promoting building health – the UK Health Security Agency should promote the benefits of infection resilience and good indoor air quality to building and transport owners and the public through signage and ratings in a similar way to food or water standards.
- Ensuring that buildings operate as designed in terms of infection resilience – industry bodies and public procurement must drive improvements to the commissioning and testing of building systems at handover, and subsequently over the life of a building.
- Establishing in-use regulations with local authorities by 2030 to maintain standards of safe and healthy building performance over the building lifetime.
- Ensuring Government departments such as BEIS, DfT and DLUHC consider incorporating infection resilience into major retrofit programmes designed to meet the commitments of the Net Zero Strategy.
Professor Peter Guthrie OBE FREng, Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chair of the NEPC Infection Resilient Environments working group, says:
“If the built environment is not equipped to limit the spread of infections, there will be direct health costs from severe illness, long-term sickness or death. These will be further compounded into economic and social costs as health costs disrupt businesses, education and our daily lives.”
As a highly energy-efficient solution for air cleaning, Lightico’s CleanLight panel is the perfect, affordable solution that would provide protection for staff and building operators alike.
To find out more information about how CleanLight can form part of your infection control strategy get in touch below.