The air quality problem in buildings Poor air quality in buildings is typically a result of inadequate ventilation, the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from various sources, biological contaminants such as mold and bacteria, particulate matter like dust, and high CO2 can all affect the health of the building's occupants. Research has also shown that these pollutants can also impact areas such as productivity. Given the increased emphasis on indoor air quality and ventilation or the "healthy buildings movement" which occurred during the covid-19 pandemic, offices, and businesses began to look inward at what may be going on in their buildings and how they could reduce the transmission of viruses through better ventilation practices. Fast forward three years and businesses are beginning to realize not just the health benefits of optimizing and monitoring indoor air quality, but also their positive business case outcomes too. Improving indoor air quality can result in fewer sick days, improved focus, and increased happiness.
The collaboration between Cognizant and Airthings When looking for a business to help them improve their indoor air quality and after careful benchmarking, Julien Janssens, Facilities Manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions, selected Airthings for Business to monitor air quality in the company's premises. Julien explains why he began searching for an indoor air quality solution, "After one of our employees reported a strange smell in a building, we wanted to immediately check the air quality in our buildings and consider implementing a long-term monitoring system. Two providers with advanced solutions, including Airthings, seemed to fit what we were looking for. After a lengthy comparison between the two, we chose Airthings." The benchmarking process lasted for over six months. What made the difference for Julien Janssens?" Airthings offered a more comprehensive air analysis. The price-quality ratio was superior, and the solution was turnkey and highly functional. The positioning and use of the sensors were extremely simple. Finally, the support from the Airthings team was a real plus."
Rémy Journet, business development manager at Airthings, recalls the period leading up to the collaboration with Cognizant: "It was a pleasure for us to answer Cognizant's questions during this benchmarking process. It sometimes forces us to challenge ourselves. Ultimately, when we equipped Cognizant, this exchange period with Julien and his team made the implementation of our solution particularly efficient."
Cognizant monitors air quality in its offices in real-time The facilities manager at Cognizant reliably controls air circulation in its premises. By accessing a dedicated platform, they can know the real-time level of brightness in the offices, the humidity level in the air, and the density of people. "As the head of general services, this allows me to have better control over the working environment. Until now, I relied on annual checks and the willingness of space owners to provide me with data. Today, I have my own reliable daily data, which allows me to know where things stand."
With a commitment to monitoring air quality as comprehensively as possible, Cognizant has not overlooked any living spaces. Sensors have been installed in offices, kitchens, break rooms, and wherever necessary.
Improved health and wellness for all employees The implementation of this system has been well received by employees, who are reassured that air quality, which can impact their health, is closely monitored. Employee representative committees (CSE), which are attentive to employee health issues, can now receive reliable and objective answers when they have questions on the subject. If an employee reports discomfort, as was the case before the installation of Airthings sensors at Cognizant, the continuously collected data helps identify the true cause.
"In my discussions with the three CSEs in our organization, all of them are delighted with this initiative. They appreciate our proactive approach, which enhances our credibility in our exchanges." Julien Janssens concludes, "It may seem like a gadget, but in the context of general services, it is not. Monitoring air quality with solutions like those offered by Airthings is a handy tool."
Currently, six Cognizant sites are equipped with Airthings sensors, and in the future, all the company's buildings globally, totalling 8,500 m2, will be equipped.
Getting started with the Airthings for Business solution Are you looking to improve the health and wellness of your employees? Airthings for Business is here to help. To find out which solution is best for you, contact us today.
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