Indoor air purifiers allow more time for decision-making.
Modern, professional standard indoor air purifiers facilitate the use of premises with indoor air quality problems until renovation begins or new premises are built..
Excerpts from an article in Rakennuslehti, a magazine specialized in the construction sector, published on 11 September 2015. Text by Dakota Lavento.
The setting of day care centre Ella, which provides care for approximately 100 children, could not be prettier. The nursery, situated by Näyttelijäntie street in the Pohjois-Haaga suburb of Helsinki, has a large naturally beautiful yard with huge spruce trees, providing ideal opportunities for play and exercise. But the condition of the building, completed in 1979, is another story - a sad one.
Real estate manager Rauli Lehtonen of Heka Oy, the company that owns the building, says that the building is a prime example of 1970s risk structures: ”The building has no foundation pedestal, it was originally built in a hole, on wetland and, as rumours have it, on top of a spring.” The roof was repaired back in 1999 and the ventilation units have been replaced once already.
In autumn 2014, samples of the wall structures were analysed and the analysis, conducted by Wise Group, found so many microbes in indoor air that something had to be done quickly to remedy the situation.
”The facade structure should be demolished and replaced. In practical terms, this means that the whole building should be rebuilt”, says Lehtonen, summing up the situation.
The new day care centre manager Maarit Markkanen joined the staff in August. They are currently looking for a new space for the day care centre, but the temporary solution has luckily given them a few years of additional time.
Artificial respiration with air purifiers
In December 2014, the building's ventilation was overpressurised so that the impurities would not be able to transfer from the wall structures into the indoor air.
For the rooms, 14 indoor air purifiers were rented from Lappeenranta-based UniqAir Ltd.
The UniqAir purifiers circulate indoor air through three filters. The coarse filter removes the largest impurities, such as dust and pollen from the air, the activated carbon filter removes gaseous impurities and tobacco odours, and the HEPA filter removes fine particles.
”The air purifier is a quick first-aid fix for the problem. Its efficiency becomes evident within a matter of hours. This solution gives you time to think about what should be done with the building in the long run,” says Ari Piispanen of UniqAir.
Maarit Markkanen says that the staff at day care centre Ella are hopeful about the efficiency of the air purifiers. Some of them say that the air is much cleaner and fresher than it used to be. "Indoor air quality is such a personal matter. Some react to it more than others,” she says.
Measuring devices that constantly monitor the pressurisation were also installed in the building.
”The pressurisation and air purifiers are a form of artificial respiration to get some extra time to find a permanent solution. In an old building, making for a good situation is always a matter of finding the right balance,” says real estate manager Rauli Lehtonen.