The world is full of buildings, and this is only becoming more true as its human population grows. Many kinds of materials are used to build them, and they could be using energy from several different sources. Unfortunately, this means that some buildings are safer than others due to how they're built and powered. While you might be breathing safe, clean air in your apartment complex, your next-door neighbors could be inhaling large concentrations of toxic chemicals.
If you work in construction, you might already be aware of this disparity. Because you're regularly moving to new job sites, you're routinely exposed to new environments, working conditions, and, potentially, toxins. Sometimes, you might not even know if your site even meets basic indoor air quality (IAQ) standards.
To protect yourself and your team, we strongly recommend investing in reliable, high-performance sensors for air quality monitoring. By installing them on your site, you can see firsthand if you're exposed to chemicals such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Gathering these air quality measurements benefits not only your team but the people who will inhabit the space after your work is done. Keep reading to learn more about indoor air quality monitors, how they work, and how they can benefit you.
How Do Indoor Air Quality Sensors Work?
There are two components to indoor air quality monitoring: hardware and software.
- The hardware is a small device (or devices) that you place in the area where you want to collect air quality measurements. It's built in a way that will trigger a reaction if it detects a harmful pollutant. It sends this data to its transmitter, which... well, transmits radio waves that contain the data.
- The software receives these radio waves and presents the information to be read and understood by the user. Depending on the provider, the software might be compatible with your phone and/or computer, where you can read the data and use it to make decisions that improve the conditions of your space.
Their Application in a Construction Environment
Though we recommend that any indoor space uses air quality monitors for real-time data gathering, they can prove to be indispensable from the moment construction begins. This is because of how early in the process they allow you to detect harmful air and build the space in a way that keeps it as clean as possible throughout its entire lifespan.
Monitoring Industrial Site Pollutants and Volatile Organic Compounds
If you're working on an industrial site, it's especially important to keep track of indoor air pollution. Places like this are notorious for having toxic substances, so you should take extra steps to ensure your team's safety. Furthermore, you might be bringing in materials that may have a reaction to these pollutants, which is another reason to protect yourselves with air quality monitoring.
It isn't just gasses like carbon monoxide that contribute to indoor air pollution; certain organic compounds pose a threat as well. Volatile organic compounds are mostly manmade chemicals that can be found in paint, pesticides, and petroleum, among other things. You should always check for these things before starting a project, but a good air quality sensor will give you peace of mind throughout your work.
Protecting Building Infrastructure and Human Health
Ultimately, the whole point of your profession is to create spaces for people to inhabit. If the air in the building isn't safe for you, it's not healthy for anyone else! And if the air quality is below your local regulations, you may find the blame coming back to you. By setting up air quality sensors right away, you can watch for unhealthy chemicals from the moment you start until the space opens to the public.
Regular air quality measurements can also help improve your construction. If you find that one area's more prone to mold than another, you could set up extra ventilation systems to help keep it in check. If you wait until later to look for this kind of thing, you may have to restructure the space to correct it. Since everyone on your team probably prefers to avoid this expensive and time-consuming process, get it right the first time with a good air quality monitor.
Collecting Real-Time Data
Usually, when you begin a new project, you'll probably know what to expect with regard to working conditions. However, some clients might have missed something, not bothered looking, or assumed you would look into it yourself. In any case, it's a good idea to have your own air quality sensors so that you can quickly and reliably gather data from any indoor environment.
Conditions may also change throughout your work, which means that scanning once at the start and ditching your sensors isn't a good idea. Instead, choose a high-quality system that you can leave up at all times, even when you're off the clock. The sensor will send constant measures of air quality to the cloud, which will allow you to watch for every possible trend. This data will prove to be invaluable when you're figuring out how to ventilate the space.
Invest in World-Class IAQ Sensors
Hopefully, you now know why air quality sensors are an indispensable part of any construction site. While it's a good idea to get them as soon as possible, you don't want to just run out and buy the first ones you see, since an inaccurate monitor is worse than none at all. Instead of settling for a cheap brand, get the whole package from Attune. We'll set you up with both high-quality hardware and easy-to-use software so that you can gather data and make informed decisions. Attune's technology detects not only indoor air pollution, but other statistics such as temperature and humidity; our solutions really are the whole package!
Your crew works hard every day, so make it easy for them! Book a demo with Attune today and go into your next job aware and prepared!