Are you being suffocated by your workplace?

09 December 2019

We all know about rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere causing global warming, but how many of us are aware of the way that concentrations of this gas can build up in our workplaces? Were you blaming your sleepiness on lunch? It could easily be that the air you’re breathing simply isn’t fresh enough.

munroe_joe_1241_2005.jpg

Photograph credit Joe Munroe, [Twenty-two students cramming into a telephone booth to try and establish a stacking record, St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California], 1959 (1241.2005)

Office buildings are generally designed to accommodate one person for every hundred square feet.  If you want to visualise a hundred square feet, it’s equivalent to the floor area of ten phone boxes.

Even if we stick to these design standards, air conditioning systems can do little more than keep CO2 concentrations below 1,200 parts per million – and that’s nearly three times the natural atmospheric level.  There is evidence that anything over 600 ppm starts to affect our ability to concentrate.

But the problem only starts there.  Does it feel crowded where you work?  It’s entirely possible that you’re in part of an office where there’s double the number of people that the building is designed for.  Or do you spend much of your day in meeting rooms?  That could result in you breathing air that has CO2 at concentrations eight times the natural level.

What’s to be done?

At Modus we take this very seriously.  Our clients have businesses to run and they trust us to provide them not only with great looking workplaces, but also ones that are going to keep everyone healthy and happy.  If we design your office, we’ll make sure it works.

But if you’re already in an office that you suspect is suffocating you, it’s not too late.  The first thing we need to do is to find out what’s going on.  We can install sensors to monitor air quality and report remotely to our software.  Once we’ve analysed the situation there are a number of interventions we can carry out to improve things.

Drop us a line.  iwanttobreathe@modus.space