For decades, we have been aware of that outdoor air can be polluted and cause of serious health consequences. However, most people don’t know that indoor air quality (IAQ) can be even worse as we spend 90 % of our time indoors - in homes, schools, workplaces and public premises.
Lack of awareness might be the cause to many fatal mistakes. The European Heart Journal reported in 2019 that 8 800 800 premature deaths per year are caused by pollution globally. The same number in European level is almost 800 000.
Some indoor air pollutants come from the outdoor, but most are released from the sources inside the building. For example, chemicals from various cleaning products, emissions from furniture and construction materials, particles from cleaning and burning fuel for cooking and heating. Meanwhile, dampness, insufficient ventilation and maintenance - which is often relevant to energy consumption, may further decrease the IAQ.
The quality of indoor air influences not only our life expectancy but also our state of health and efficiency in work and school, from the short-term effects (immediate), e.g., irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, to long-term (possibly after years), e.g., asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. While the good indoor air offers healthier, longer, allergy-free life for building users and brings cost-savings through e.g. energy savings and minimum loss of earnings through sick leaves. Good IAQ offers a safe environment to grow, study, work and live.
To achieve healthy overall indoor air, transparent cooperation is needed through every stage of the building life cycle. Finnish Indoor Air Quality ecosystem (IAQe) is a platform that brings together all parties to achieve comprehensive healthy indoor air.
IAQe visited Poland in May 2019 to understand the needs and opportunities of Polish indoor air and find local partners. The two-day visit started with Indoor Air Quality Finnish-Polish Seminar organized by IAQe and Business Finland Poland. Polish Green Building Council (PLGBC) was the honorary patron of the seminar where also several other Polish indoor air quality actors and organizations where represented. During the visit IAQe also had a meeting with local developer company, reception at the Residence of Ambassador of Finland with Polish actors, meeting with Polish Ventilation Association, internal review to Polish Indoor Air market with consultant and visit of IAQe partner’s (Tikkurila) showroom in Warsaw to share experiences on Polish market.
IAQe is under preparation of a pilot project and looking for local partners who share the common interests. With integrated solutions from joint force of Finnish forerunners, showcase and new business model are expected to serve the local market, and bring healthy indoor air and better life quality for the people.
IAQe is an open cooperation platform that offers opportunities for co-creation of new businesses, R&D&I projects and networking. IAQe consists of 23 partner companies, Finnish research organizations and many global partners. Partner companies represent the wide field of indoor air actors consisting actors in the sector of air cleaners, air filters and filter materials, building automation, building materials, education and showroom, energy, HVAC systems, integrators and experts, measuring and monitoring, data analysis, research and technology organizations, regulation and authorities and global network.
In Poland the following IAQe companies were represented: Air0, Alme Solutions, Filterpak, Fläktgroup, Genano, Kiilto, Produal, Realin, Ramboll, Tikkurila, VTT and Tamlink.
Coordinator of IAQe