Indoor air quality company BRS Technology has welcomed the publication of the suggested green recovery plan for Scotland – but calls for greater understanding of indoor environments.

The report by ChangeWorks and the Climate Emergency Response Group, Eight Policy Packages for Scotland’s Green Recovery, details the suggested steps for the country to take to move towards a net-zero economy.

It details a number of proposals, including retrofitting housing and buildings to be more environmentally friendly, reducing heating costs and lost heat amongst plans for more modern buildings.

One area where there is a lack of detail though, is in discussions over indoor air quality.

Missed opportunity to talk indoor air quality

BRS Managing Director Raymond McGurk said: “Anything that makes for better homes and helps Scotland on the road to being more environmentally friendly should be welcomed.

“Having said that, in the thousands of words dedicated to the environment, there is exactly one paragraph mentioning indoor air quality and that is in the context of fuel poverty.

“This is a bit of a missed opportunity because indoor air quality and indoor pollution are as much an issue as outdoor pollution. In fact, they are a bigger issue during periods of lockdown.”

The report states:

“We know that cold and damp buildings are bad for our health and well-being – a real concern during this COVID-19 crisis. People living in fuel poverty are at greater risk of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, more frequent and severe asthmatic symptoms, and increased depression and anxiety.

“If this crisis is to lead to a more permanent shift toward greater home working, improving the homes that are in worse condition is necessary to ensure that this social shift does not exacerbate inequalities, and people can experience a pleasant home and work environment without significantly increased bills.”

Poor working concentration and slow response times – the results of poor indoor air quality

McGurk continued: “Issues with rising CO2 levels – which can hamper home workers and impact on their concentration levels or make people less alert to noises or alerts in a house – are well known by now. There’s been numerous studies showing this.

“Additionally, you have humidity issues like damp and mould – still an issue in far too many homes across Scotland – that are not only a health concern but also an incredible cost to try and sort.

“The report very much appears to look at the issue of buildings from a heating and thermal point of view – which are very important, but hopefully future details will include more around indoor air quality.”

CO2 levels in the home and office

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