The air breathed by people indoors significantly affects their health and wellbeing, but may also transmit pathogenic microorganisms. Echo Investment cares about the quality of the indoor air in its office buildings and is the only developer to arm them with the most effective technology for its purification. RCI ActivePure will soon become the standard in Echo Investment's office buildings that are currently being built.
People spend approx. 80% of their time indoors, on average. Indoor air, i.e. the air surrounding people inside closed spaces, is a peculiar microclimate whose composition differs from that of the atmospheric air. It is a dynamic system subject to many changes, even in a very short time. Scientist noted that the quality of the air breathed indoors may impact our everyday lives as early as in the 1980s. As stated by Harvard Business Review in its 2017 report, good physical and mental state, increased efficiency, and even decreases in the number of sick leaves among employees are some of the discernible results of maintaining that quality in office buildings. However, it was not until the coronavirus pandemic that the society realised how many pathogenic microorganisms are transmitted via droplets, i.e. through air.
Proper air purification systems are capable of both affecting the wellbeing of people present inside certain spaces and hindering the transmission of pathogenic factors, or even neutralizing them. Air ducts and air conditioning are crucial to this process, and it is their securing that Echo Investment has focused on in its office buildings. The developer has decided to provide its tenants with clean and healthy air using RCI ActivePure. The indoor disinfection system based upon this technology uses free oxygen and water molecules present in the air, which are sucked by a matrix structured like a honeycomb. This technology generates oxidants released back indoors, which eliminate biological bacterial and viral pollution. Active air neutralises pathogenic factors and pollution accumulated within the space and on surfaces. It eliminates viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria, fungi, allergens and smog particles. Research confirmed by the American Food and Drug Administration proves a 96.4–99.9% reduction in the amount of pathogens and pollution floating in the air within 30 minutes from the activation of the device.
“The pandemic poses many challenges to business. Safety has undoubtedly become a priority in many aspects. Right now, remote work appears to be an effective precautionary measure. However, we do not know if it is going to work in a long term. Reports show that employees themselves cannot imagine their future careers being focused solely on their ‘home office’. They miss personal communication with other employees and a comfortable workplace, which help them fulfil their tasks and goals. They want to be able to flexibly decide whether they work from home or at the office. Therefore, in addition to preventive solutions which support office building safety, we are already investing in solutions that can make it easier for companies to decide to plan the work of their teams flexibly. We have tested many health-conscious solutions available on the market. We have focused mostly on those systems and devices that are connected to ductwork, as it is those air ducts that can transmit pathogenic microorganisms. Ultimately, we have invested in a system that allows us to provide the users with clean and healthy air both during and after the pandemic. We are the only ones in Poland who are outfitting office buildings with the proven and reliable RCI ActivePure technology. As such, we offer a completely new dimension of office space quality,” says Rafał Mazurczak, Echo Investment's Board Member in charge of the office sector.
RCI ActivePure has been tested by many renowned organisations and institutes, including: Stowarzyszenie Rozwój Mikrobiologii [Microbiological Development Association], Polish National Institute of Public Health and Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. Interestingly, NASA has deemed RCI ActivePure one of the most important discoveries of American scientists. Since 2004, it has been the only air purification method in the world to hold the Space Foundation certificate. In Poland, this system is particularly popular in hospitals, where sterility of the air and surfaces is of significant importance. Echo Investment is the first developer in Europe that is introducing that solution into office projects on such a broad scale.
“Based upon performance tests of the system, we have decided that solutions enabling us to provide buildings with clear air must be given to tenants not temporarily and on a short-term basis, but as a standard. That is why RCI ActivePure will be installed in various office spaces in the projects currently under construction, such as MidPoint71 and West 4 Business Hub in Wrocław,” adds Rafał Mazurczak.
This method, as it is based upon naturally occurring processes, is completely safe for people and the natural environment.
“The commonly used ventilation systems are great solutions, but the coronavirus pandemic has shown that they are not enough to combat the new dangers. The RCI ActivePure technology provided by us is meant to operate continuously; it does not require the building to be vacated during the purification process. The continuous operation of the system also guarantees its effectiveness. From the moment of their installation and startup, the devices are constantly activating the purifying properties of the air within its entire volume. This allows them to eliminate any existing and new microbiological threats, as well as to improve the air quality indoors,” adds Dominik Pierzak, President of the Management Board of ActiveTek Medica, a sole distributor of RCI ActivePure in Poland and Europe.
PureOffice – the new standard
In June, Echo Investment announced its pilot project ‘Healthy Office Buildings’. Upon verification of several dozen office building usage scenarios, it decided to implement new solutions or ensure the quality of those used previously. The solutions included the ‘Five for Safety’ program, limitation of the use of finishing materials that are difficult to maintain and disinfect, keeping of the practice of using operable windows in buildings, introduction of safe fittings in toilets, and use of non-contact opening mechanisms whenever possible. The introduction of brand new technologies that would limit the epidemiological risk or enable swift and effective response whenever necessary was also already announced back then. It was those solutions that have become the basis for developing the new Echo Pure Office standard.