Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is urging Scottish construction businesses to innovate in order to improve the quality of air inside our buildings and tackle ‘sick building syndrome’.

Scots spend around 80-90% of their time indoors, whether that be at home, school or work. Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality has a negative impact on health, well-being and productivity.

‘Sick building syndrome’, a condition which is typically marked by headaches and respiratory problems, is attributed to factors in the indoor environment such as inadequate ventilation or poorly maintained air conditioning.

To help companies find out more about how to alleviate the problem, CSIC is hosting a free Improving Indoor Air Quality through Innovation event on Friday this week at its Innovation Factory in Hamilton International Technology Park.

The event will showcase an innovative pilot project that CSIC has recently funded, which could help address the issue. In partnership with researchers from Strathclyde University, property technology company arbnco collected data from commercial properties in Glasgow, London and New York over the course of a year.

Using those results, arbnco created a new technology that can provide real-time monitoring of the effects of the indoor working environment on health and wellbeing, taking into account factors such as ventilation, natural light and temperature.

The new technology, arbn well, will allow organisations to understand how the quality of their buildings is affecting the productivity and satisfaction of their employees, and what improvements are needed in order to address these issues.

As well as hearing from experts at CSIC and arbnco, delegates at the event will also learn from a number of specialists in the field of indoor air quality, including Stephen Milne from CENSIS, Lori McIlroy from BRE, and Jonathan McQuillan from Anderson Bell Christie architects.

Jennifer Smart, business relationship manager at CSIC, said:  “Employee productivity and well-being are huge issues for Scotland’s employers and our economy as a whole, and our buildings play a large part in this. The construction industry therefore has a responsibility to do all it can to make buildings as healthy as possible.

“Innovation can play a huge part in this, and CSIC is delighted to have supported arbnco to develop this exciting technology that will allow building occupiers and owners to make informed decisions on the management of the indoor environment, in order to positively impact the health of building users.

“Our event is an excellent opportunity to be inspired by arbnco’s new technology, and hear from some leading indoor air quality experts.”

Parag Rastogi, Lead Building Physicist at arbnco, said: “Every business wants healthy, happy employees. Not only is a comfortable office environment good for the wellbeing of staff, it has been demonstrated in numerous studies to have an effect on alertness and performance.

“This new technology will be invaluable in allowing businesses to monitor the reality of how their building is performing and make changes to address any problems.”

Register for free here.