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UAE: EGBC chief warns building managers of VOCs

Best practices to ensure healthy indoor air quality are "often overlooked by building managers", Saeed Al Abbar recently said at an event highlighting the perils of VOCs

Best practices to improve indoor air quality must be implemented, EGBC chief Saeed Al Abbar said.
Best practices to improve indoor air quality must be implemented, EGBC chief Saeed Al Abbar said.

Building managers often overlook the guidelines that ensure freshness in the quality of indoor air, an industry expert said.

Saeed Al Abbar, chairman of Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), said indoor air quality is a critical consideration for regional sustainability levels as people spend more than 90% of their time indoors.

"It is therefore critical to ensure sufficient fresh air is provided to our buildings and harmful chemicals are not introduced into the indoor environment," he continued. 

"While there are clear guidelines on industry best practices to be followed to ensure healthy indoor air quality, this is an aspect often overlooked by building managers." 

Al Abbar's remarks were made at a seminar hosted by EmiratesGBC to underline the measures that can be adopted to improve air quality and the role of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in adversely impacting green building designs. 

The event was attended and addressed by representatives of EmiratesGBC, Dubai Central Laboratory, Griffin Consultants, Flowcrete, Mapei, and Caparol.

Panelists at the seminar said end-users also need to be educated about their indoor environment to make better decisions and become responsible consumers, owners, and tenants.

This includes the choice of paint they use indoors, the knowledge on indoor air quality-related equipment such as HVAC and exhausts, and their maintenance and cleaning.

"As our experts reminded during the event, even if design and construction can make a building ‘green,’ the wrong usage of products and poor maintenance of ventilation systems can reverse the effect and make buildings unhealthy," Al Abbar said.

"It is therefore important for the industry stakeholders to give it serious consideration." 

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