5 Diseases that caused due to Indoor Air Pollution !

Take a deep breath – it’s something that most of us do or suggest others to do; it can be after a good exercise session, or some stressful or tough activity – A deep breath is always bliss.
Unfortunately, today most of the air we breathe is terribly polluted. The horror stories about India’s pervasive pollution that costs the lives of many people annually isn’t new. What’s even more horrifying is the fact that there are just no signs of improvement.

Why Indoor Air Quality Is So Important?

When we discuss pollution, we often link it to something that is found outside, in the air, the ground, or in the water bodies. But it’s time we look inside. According to The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS), we spend 90% of our time indoors, hence the value of a fresh air exchange system cannot be underestimated. All in all, breathing quality indoor air is indispensable for good health.

Most of us spend a significant amount of time indoors; it can either be our home, office, school or any other types of building structures—where chemicals, gases, and other deadly types of pollutants can cause several short-term or long-term health concerns.

According to EPA, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality inside and around building structures. Indoor air directly linked to the health and comfort of the building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns – Know The Common Indoor Air Toxins.

Breakdown Of Top 5 Diseases Caused By Air Pollution In Indoor Settings

Also, did you know “People living and working in buildings of manmade materials inhale over 300 contaminants every day,” says the Environmental Protection Agency? In addition to this, WHO reports, 7 million premature deaths annually are linked to air pollution.

What does this mean? Exposure to bad quality indoor air results in life-threatening diseases of course! Building on this, let’s know the top 5 diseases caused by air pollution.

1. Stroke

In simple terms, Strokes are brain attacks. They mainly occur when blood supply to the brain gets blocked. During a stroke, the human brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen or nutrients, this causes the brain cells to die. According to a study published in the Lancet Neurology, air pollution is allied with about a third of the global stroke burden. The researchers say, this includes environmental and indoor air pollution.                     

2. Heart disease

In May 2016, The Lancet published an influential article by lead investigator Dr. Joel Kaufman, this study reports that long-term contact to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides at levels close to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) can result in premature aging of the blood vessels and contribute to a quicker buildup of calcium in the coronary artery. This buildup of calcium restricts blood flow to the heart and other major blood vessels which increase the likelihood of cardiovascular events like a heart attack.

3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the 3rd leading cause of mortality worldwide. Both indoor and outdoor air pollution have strong links to this disease. A person who repeatedly breathes in bad quality air is at higher risk of getting COPD. Polluted air contains tiny particles called “irritants” which damage the lungs and can cause COPD or make it progress even faster.

4. Respiratory Diseases

Today, there are enough shreds of evidence that prove air pollution aggravate respiratory diseases, especially asthma. Chronic respiratory infections and diseases like asthma can be caused by rising levels of air pollution. In fact, air pollution is the main trigger for breathing ailments in children in several Indian metro cities today.

5. Lung Cancer

Previously, lung cancer was associated with people who smoke excessively, but new evidence suggests that air pollution can also be a cancer-causing. Especially, people who spend a lot of hours living or working in congested spaces with very little or no ventilation are susceptible to air pollution-related ailments.

ReadWHO Says, 600,000 Children Die Due To Air Pollution Every Year

Green Walls Can Help

So how does this all connect to green walls, you may ask? With respect to human health, it has been studied that harmful chemical substances in the indoor air, such as dust and mould spores, high levels of carbon dioxide, can lead to long term health hitches. Research of materials and their impacts on indoor air quality has shown that Clay bricks and blocks are one of the few man-made building materials whose mineral properties meet ‘all necessary requirements for healthy living’.

Since we spent close to 90% of our time indoors. Due to increasingly tight building envelopes, which stop air from entering the interior through leaking windows and are thus enhancing the energy efficiency of a building but also affecting the indoor climate, the importance of selecting the right building material becomes imperative.  Natural building materials like Clay, ideally incorporates sustainable design practices to integrate the building into its immediate environment. Choosing building materials right for your climate is also important.

Final Thoughts

Wearing masks while going out, staying in properly ventilated spaces, travelling in closed transportation, and keeping in mind “Green and Sustainable” when buying or building a house are few of the things you can do to counter indoor air pollution. It’s time to watch what you’re breathing.

Breathe Healthy Stay Healthy!

All about Air Handling units and how much they are sustainable!

The AHU is normally a large metal box which connects to the ductwork that channels conditioned air throughout a building and returns it back to the AHU. Inside this large metal box there are a number of  ventilators with different jobs to do.

AHU’s supply fresh air to the room. The units take air from the outside, filter it and recondition it (cooled by a cooling coil or heated by a heating coil).

Where hygienic needs for air quality are lower, the air from the rooms can be re-circulated for energy saving purposes. The AHU is usually fitted with a cooling/heat exchanger for increasing capacity and energy saving. 

Air Handling Unit Repair

How they work

The easiest way of explaining how AHUs work is to run through the components and their functions:

Housing 

Usually made of metal and painted to prevent corrosion, the housing contains all the components of the AHU. The coil and fans are insulated in the housing to prevent condensation.

Filters

The filters are used to remove contaminants from the air.  Different filters are available for different AHUs:

  • HEPA filters are often used where businesses have particular concerns for their staff and sensitive equipment as these filters are efficient at removing airborne bacteria and can remove viruses from the air
  • Bag filters provide a medium to high efficiency of filtration
  • Panel filters provide a minimum low efficiency filtration
  • Electrostatic filters use highly charged electrodes that ionise the air
  • Carbon filters remove smells and gases

Fan

The fan within the AHU moves the air to different sections of the building. There are a variety of fans available (forward Curved, Backward Curved, Airfoil and Backward Inclined). The designer will use software to select the right fan, depending on the static pressure and air volume in the AHU.

Over the years technology is improving to make better use of energy and follow the greener agenda. As a result of this the variable air volume (VAV) system is popular as, depending on the need, the volume of the air being discharged can be varied. If the system load and thermal load are low, the speed of the fan will be low and if the loads are  high the fan will speed up. Instead of a conventional motor a frequency inverter varies the speed of the fan for better control. 

Mixing box

The mixing box is the location where the outside air and the air which has been returned are mixed and the perfect combination of air is sent to the space for conditioning. This is a simple method of heat recovery.  Several other methods are available such as thermal wheel and cross plate heat exchangers, which method to use will depend on the application.

Cooling coil

A cooling coil dehumidifies and cools the air. Depending on the AHU system, either a chilled water cooling coil or a direct expansion cooling coil will be used.

Humidifiers

During the winter, internal air can become very dry and uncomfortable and this is where humidifiers come in handy: 

Some common humidifiers include:

  • Steam Grid Type — the water is heated up to produce the steam 
  • Steam Pan Type which heats up water using a heating coil and pan. The water evaporates and creates humidity
  • Spray Type which has a spray nozzle that sprays water

Types of air handling unit

There are two main types of air handling unit — the ‘blow-through’ and the  ‘draw-through’.

The blow-through AHU has a fan which blows the air through the mixing box, cooling coil and filters before it goes to the ducting network. 

The draw-through AHU can be vertical or horizontal. It has a fan which pulls the air through the mixing box, cooling coil and filters before it goes to the ducting network.

You can also get different sizes of AHU. Terminal units are small, simple units, also called fan coil units or blower units. These units may only include a coil, blower and air filter. A makeup air unit (MAU) is a larger AHU that does not recirculate the air and conditions 100% outside air.  This unit is also known as a fresh air handling unit (FAHU).

Other considerations 

  • Installation and commissioning: do have the AHU installed by the best engineers and do not skimp on commissioning, it will save you money.
  • Factory made or made on site (flatpack): there is always a solution that fits.  
  • Refurbish units to breathe new life into old units.
  • Reconfigure or upgrade components to improve operating efficiencies and save energy. 

Energy Efficient & Sustainable Air Handling units

Sustainable Air Handling Units

By making sustainable decisions upfront, air handling units that help companies yield energy savings for the life of their buildings, lowering overall costs and improving their bottom lines.

Sustainable AHUs are not only built to last, they are designed to reduce the environmental impacts and optimize energy use from today’s buildings. We incorporate a wide range of sustainable air handling features and processes into our products, including:

  • Low leakage fit-and-finish construction
  • Hygienic unit design and wash-down construction
  • Recycled – and recyclable – materials

The result for our clients is:

  • High energy efficiency in operations
  • Minimum maintenance requirements and replacement costs
  • LEED certification opportunities
  • Greater environmental stewardship

Is Natural Ventilation Really Exists for Buildings ?

We breath oxygen and exhale carbon-di-oxide (CO2), this is called the respiration process. When we are indoors, the level of CO2 in the air increases due to the respiration cycle. Along with CO2, body odor, moisture and other pollutants within the house make the air inside stale. Breathing stale air is unhealthy. To maintain freshness in space, the stale air must be replaced by fresh air regularly. Fresh outdoor air, is taken from the external environment, and the replaced indoor air in turn carries away with it the pollutants from inside your home. This process of replacing stale air inside your home with fresh air from the environment outside through windows and door openings, without the use of fans is Natural Ventilation.

Almost all historic buildings were ventilated naturally, although many of these have been compromised by the addition of partition walls and mechanical systems. With an increased awareness of the cost and environmental impacts of energy use, natural ventilation has become an increasingly attractive method for reducing energy use and cost and for providing acceptable indoor environmental quality and maintaining a healthy, comfortable, and productive indoor climate rather than the more prevailing approach of using mechanical ventilation. In favorable climates and buildings types, natural ventilation can be used as an alternative to air-conditioning plants, saving 10%–30% of total energy consumption.

In hotter places natural ventilation also help bring the room temperature down. This cooling effect can help reduce use of fans, coolers and avoid air-conditioners to significantly bring down your energy bills. You can employ the following strategies to improve the natural ventilation in your home:

  • We can design openings (such as windows) in your home’s building envelope so that they are in the path of wind flows from outside.
  • These openings must be placed at a suitable height in the direction of the natural breeze outside your home to allow air to flow through your rooms at body level to help make you feel more comfortable.

    Winds flowing at suitable height improve comfort
  • Place windows to facilitate wind circulation throughout the space. When wind flows in from one side, circulates through the space and exits from an opposite side, it is called Cross Ventilation. Cross Ventilation improves ventilation by distributing the flow of air throughout the space.

    Strategies to improve ventilation through appropriate window placement
  • You can enhance the flow of air inside your home by using ‘jaalis’ (lattice wall) and ventilators. Smaller windows funnel air into your home. Air passing through these small windows speeds up towards a larger opening in the opposite wall that serves as an exit. This engineered wind flow makes your home cooler. Traditionally, this was practiced in hot climates with ‘jaalis’. ‘jaalis’ are small apertures, that aid in accelerating passing wind passing to enhance ventilation.

    Winds speed up as they pass from smaller to larger windows.
  • High openings such as clerestory windows and ventilators act as effective exhausts for the hot air that accumulates near the ceiling of your home. Warmer air is lighter than cooler air, and therefore it rises up. This concept of rising hot air is called the Stack effect.

    Windows near the ceiling aid in removing accumulated hot air.

In humid climates such as in Coastal regions, ventilation can bring in much needed relief, because cool breeze replaces moist warm air faster away from our bodies causing the sensation of comfort. In desert like climates, natural ventilation can bring in unwanted heat as well which can cause discomfort. Wind passing over water bodies or through ‘khus’ pads, like in desert coolers, can provide cooler air. In colder areas, cold winds can cause discomfort. Obstructions around the house may be used to slow the cold winds. In the plains, which see both hot summers and cool winters, the in-between period is especially suited for natural ventilation when ‘Natural cooling’ can help avoid use of air-conditioners.

Naturally ventilated buildings should be designed to provide thermal comfort, to achieve adequate moisture and contaminant removal, and to meet or exceed Government Energy Conservation Performance Standards.

How do eco-friendly paints contribute in lower down carbon footprint?

Changing the color of your homes is perhaps the fastest way of bringing in a complete makeover. With the rooms being just the same, repainting your home walls will feel like a completely different space and this, consequently, has been a favorite tool for both homeowners and interior decorators. However, it’s not as easy a choice when it comes to choosing the kind of paint you finally bring home. It will be important to note that we aren’t talking about color here. That is as vast a topic in its own right. Right now, we are concerned about the kind of paint materials you have to choose from. Of course, the first factor in this choice will be your budget. But if you aren’t too worried about the investment, eco-friendly paints would be the perfect suggestion.

Eco-friendly paints – What does it mean?

In simple terms, eco-friendly paints refer to natural paints that have low levels of volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. If you have ever opened a can of wall paint, you must remember the sharp smell it gives out. That’s VOC. It’s the chemical you actually smell and not only does this make you cringe for a moment, but it comes with adverse health effects in the long run. The toxic chemicals will linger in the room for a long time after a paint job is complete and in some cases, will be gradually releasing themselves for the whole lifetime of the paint itself. This is the reason why painters will tie a mask while working and insist on a well-ventilated environment.

Most paints available in the market today are oil and latex-based and according to Waste Management Inc., they fall under the “hazardous” category since the color pigments are mostly made from heavy metals such as lead.  Sometimes, paints specifically meant for outdoors also contain high amounts of fungicides. Today, most local paint brands will integrate some amount of biocide in the product to increase the shelf life and as per Green America; these can be detected even after five years of the initial paint job. All of it sounds disastrous since a home is where you are meant to raise a family, be happy and stay healthy. It’s easy to get fooled by the color but it is a responsibility to understand what lies beyond the looks!

This is where eco-friendly paints come in. A rather recent trend, these paints are generally made from a huge range of naturally available materials including milk proteins, clay, balsam, citrus, and natural minerals. The milk-based paint, for instance, is made from a combination of casein (milk protein) and lime. Though these are gradually coming into a trend, natural paints like this have actually been used for hundreds of years now. If you go to any Indian county side today, you will be astonished by how smooth they have been able to paint the walls using mud and select natural wastes. While clay mixed with cow dung has been a prominent choice of paint for village homes in India, modern technology has given rise to more sophisticated alternatives like milk paints.

Strictly for interior walls, products like milk-based paints are very low in VOC levels and are completely safe to be used in homes.

How to know if it’s eco-friendly?

Strict standards have been set by organizations like EPA to ensure that a paint product passes the eco-friendly criteria. When shopping for eco-friendly paints, it is necessary that you look for:

  1. The VOC label
  2. An organic certification (check on the internet for authentication)
  3. Check for chemical ingredients of the paint.

However, it’s not just chemicals you are getting rid of your homes by choosing eco-friendly paint products. Here are some added benefits to natural paints that should be considered:

1. Minimized environmental impacts

Natural or eco-friendly paints are strictly water-based paints without any oil base. Consequently, they aren’t toxic even when put to waste. Easily biodegradable, they leave very little impact on the environment. Over the years, technology has been improving and we now have amazing products with a range of colors for natural paints.

2. Natural raw materials

Natural paints are derived from plant extracts, lemon peels, bee wax, seed oil and the kind. This is what primarily defines the nature of eco-friendly paints. Consequently, producing natural paints don’t lead to unsafe emissions and nor does it require precautions when you are applying it in your homes.

3. Health benefits

The young generation of homemakers is quite upbeat about eco-friendly paints today. Thankfully, this is the generation that does take the environment seriously and does their bit in fighting the global climate crisis we are facing. While natural or eco-friendly paints do cost a tad bit more, they do balance out the extra costs in the health benefits they provide. Being non-toxic, they do not lead to any kind of illness, normally seen with chemical-based paints.

4. Fewer coats

Another reason why natural paints offer a good cost advantage is that they need fewer coats for the job to be done. Qualitatively superior to chemical-based paints, natural paints also provide better color retention properties, better coverage with fewer coats, minimal abrasion and an extensive choice when it comes to the range of shades.

5. Minimal waste

Made from natural products, there is very little waste generation in the natural paint production process. In the cases of chemical-based paints, several toxic by-products are produced during manufacturing and this alone leads to the toxicity of the environment. A more serious concern with the same is that these toxic wastes continue to harm the natural resources for several years to come. However, eco-friendly paints don’t come with any such bi-products.

A home is supposed to be the sanctuary for a family. This is a place where you bring kids into your life and see them grow. It certainly is a good practice to go for natural products, especially when it comes to the wall paint you are using. They are the part of the household that you most interact with and you can leave it to chance for an illness to creep underneath.

Earth Day 22nd April – Importance of protecting our nature amid the Virus spread!

22 April is Earth Day. While the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been spreading infection around the world and dominating news headlines, thoughts and attention, the need to take climate action has remained as urgent as ever. By the end of 2020, global CO2 emissions need to have dropped by 7.6% and continue to fall by 7.6% each year for us to have keep global heating under 1.5oC, according to the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP)Emission Gap Report 2019.

Earth day 2020 is not just the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but also the anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement to take climate action. The pandemic is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of humans and the planet in the face of global scale threats. Unchecked damage to our environment must be addressed. In his response to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres noted that, “Had we been further advanced in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we could better face this challenge.”

Background on Earth Day

The first Earth Day took place in 1970. Outraged by oil spills, smog and polluted rivers, 20 million people took to the streets, protesting what they recognized as an environmental crisis. It was the planet’s largest civic event at the time and compelled governments to take concrete actions, including passing environmental laws and establishing environmental agencies. In addition to these practical outcomes, the event demonstrated just how much can be achieved when people come together and demand action.

The day continues to hold great significance. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution formally recognizing the day as International Mother Earth Day. On Earth Day 2016, the United Nations formally adopted the Paris Agreement, articulating the commitment of nations to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celcius over pre-industrial levels; and to strengthen the ability of countries to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.

Earth Day in 2020

Marking its half-century anniversary, and selecting climate action as its theme, Earth Day 2020 was already poised to be a historic event. An occasion planned to bring people physically together across a series of events, COVID-19 has now prompted a dramatic shift to completely digital and virtual platforms. Earth Day 2020 calls for 24 hours of actions, big and small, for people and the planet. On this 50th anniversary, civil society organizers hope to fill the world’s digital landscape with global conversations, positive acts, performances, webinars and events supporting urgent action on climate change.

As the world rushes to plan for a post-pandemic recovery, UNEP and other parts of the United Nations system see this as opportunity to call attention to the need to “build back better.” The risks faced by ignoring the threats of environmental destruction must be understood and addressed with protections and policies. April 22 is a timely reminder to embrace the opportunities of the natural world for green jobs, sustainable economic stimulus, for urgently taking action to protect ourselves against unsurvivable global heating and for securing healthy, dignified futures.

What can you do?
On April 22, join earthday.org livestreamed discussions, events and actions you can take from wherever you are. Explore the many virtual Earth Day events via this directory to online events across global time zones. There are new tools for volunteering and advocacy and opportunities to participate as citizen scientists–using the Earth Challenge 2020 app to measure data such as air quality and plastic pollution, right where you are.  There are challenges for daily action; graphics for sharing on social media; tips for making your own Earth Day window sign; and a place to tell others about your own personal “act of green.”

Front-line community leaders will observe the occasion with a webinar on 21 April, including Earth Day blessings from leaders around the world; a message from youth climate activists; and conversations with religious and indigenous leaders. Just like on the first Earth Day, 50 years ago, it is time to demonstrate solidarity, take action and send a clear message to world leaders to act on climate change, halt biodiversity and habitat loss, and make certain environmental protection is a fundamental foundation of building back better.  

Looking ahead to the next 50 years, and in the lead up to World Environment Day on 5 June, UNEP will be sharing information on actions that can be taken to protect biodiversity, to contribute reforestation efforts of degraded landscapes and to commit to the overall sustainable management of natural resources.   

Nature is in crisis, threatened by biodiversity and habitat loss, global heating and toxic pollution. Failure to act is failing humanity. Addressing the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and protecting ourselves against future global threats requires sound management of hazardous medical and chemical waste; strong and global stewardship of nature and biodiversity; and a clear commitment to “building back better”, creating green jobs and facilitating the transition to carbon neutral economies. Humanity depends on action now for a resilient and sustainable future.

Realty about the Pollutants in composting, Myths and Facts!

The commercial success in the era where we have to take serious steps towards safeguarding environment is taking wrong twist and turns. The recent awareness about composting the organic waste in decentralized manner has picked up the momentum. As a hungry commercial monster human being is also defying the process of natural composting by accelerating it. We want to have compost in 48 hours, 24 hours and I just now read in one of the brochure claiming 15 minutes.

We don’t think twice while wasting and throwing the valuable food along with food waste. But while taking efforts to bring it back in circular economy of sustainability we want to be God of Gods.

In the wake of government orders and notifications of managing wet wastes by commercial complexes and residential societies at local level in decentralized manner some of the commercially eccentric product manufacturers are spreading claims of creating compost in as low as 15 minutes time. Machines rating 1.8kW till 200kW to convert waste to compost in such a short time. And what they claim is following

  • The organic waste is segregated
  • Segregated waste is shredded to small size
  • The shredded pile is then forcibly dried using electrical or oil heaters.
  • The dried powder is said to be ready to use compost or some suggest then to keep it for curing for another 20 days with bacteria.

Now try to analyse above steps this way –

  • The organic waste is segregated

This is a right step and must be done manually at source itself by the user or the person who is dumping it in the garbage bin.

  • Segregated waste is shredded to small size

This is a step to accelerate the process of decomposition and can be used to help reduce overall size of waste also in terms of storage capacity.

  • The shredded pile is then forcibly dried using electrical or oil heaters.
  • The overall shredding process will make the waste a lot wet as the water in the matter is now out of the body so there will be leachate with highly acidic form and bad odor.
  • 70-80% of organic waste is water which has to be dried now.
  • Assume following –

Q – is the energy require to raise 1 Celsius of 1 kg o substance

c – is the specific heat o a substance

m – is the mass of the substance

θ – is the difference of temperature of a substance ( temperature of a substance after energy is absorb – temperature of a substance before energy is absorb)

We want to find Q so, the specific heat of water is 4.2 J/kgC-1 . I assume that the mass of the water is 1 kg coming out of the waste. The temperature difference in order to evaporate water is about 70°C (100°C – 30°C assume that room temperature is 30C) we substitute all in the equation –

Q = (4.2*103 J/kgC^-1) (1 kg) (70°C) = 294000 J

So 294000 joules of energy is require to evaporate 1 kg of water, which is about 0.09kWh energy per kg of water

The survey on net shows India produces over 60 million metric tons of waste a year out of which over 60% is organic waste. Currently only 9% of this waste is treated at source, the rest ends up choking landfills and our cities.

This means 32760000000kg of organic waste remains to be treated

Assume only 30% of this is treated for composting using such forced drying machines = 9828000000kg and this will require (9828000000kg*70%) of water*0.09kWh = 619164000kWh of electrical or fuel energy. Hopes this helps:) to know cost of energy and load of energy in converting wet waste to compost.

There is an alternative way of such decentralized composting

The other problem in the heating to dry the organic waste is even though the temperatures are lesser than burning temperatures the localized heat accumulation and low temperature exposure for extended time will tend to partially burn the organic matter.

Such reaction at lower temperatures have a very harmful ratios of CO-CO2 and Nox gases. (Reference: Pollutant Formation in Combustion Processes, Grzegorz Wielgosiński, Technical University of Lodz, Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering, Poland)

While this partial drying / burning we are losing the nutrient value of the end compost.

The dried powder is said to be ready to use compost or some suggest then to keep it for curing for another 20 days with bacteria.

The dried powder is not a compost it is just forced stage of organic matter. Such dried powder is very hygroscopic. It will quickly absorb moisture from air and soil and again get into non-composted organic form.

Which will now rotten in the open soil. This is also a good food of flies and insects hence they breed in this form of powder when wet. This will start smelling foul as it becomes wet again.

It will take another 8-10 days minimum in open natural environment to get to a form where the plantation can absorb anything out of it.Improperly disposed organic waste is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, at almost 1500 Tg CO2 / year. Waste deposited, partially burnt emits methane which contributes 21 times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide according to the concept of Global Warming Potential adopted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The composting has to be self driven acted by assisted by the bacterial culture. The bacteria will chemically break down the waste in desired form by digesting some part as food for themselves. While such digestion the bacterias will generate a good temperature on their bodies which will dry out the waste naturally to the extent that some times you have to add some water to keep the bacteria’s active.

The process only demands small area in your garden or parking or terrace and a manpower for a size of 100 homes or equivalent waste processing setup.

Reference:

https://www.intechopen.com/books/advances-in-chemical-engineering/pollutants-formation-in-combustion-processes
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/homecompost/science.cfm

Sustainable & Organic Solutions

  • AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD – AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD (BLACK / BLUE), This water saving shower head can mix air with water to spray water effectively to maintain equivalent water pressure compared to regular shower heads.
  • DualThreadAerator :- With 3 LPM straight shower flow aerator you save water and reduce water bill.
  • Leave It Pot Small Composter:- Perfect for people who have space & do not like lifting weights! Also a companion pot for your Kambha in case you are generating more than 1 kg waste per day.

Present Fresh air to your Loved ones this Valentine’s Day !

How much do you really care about your loved one? Are you really concerned about their health and well-being? Do you tend to keep your loved one’s disease free? So this Valentine bring a change to your life.

Understand the requirement of fresh air in your life and implement the changes required, let us understand about the proper ventilation to get fesh air in our home and building.

Proper home ventilation is vital to your family’s health and comfort. It helps your home rid itself of moisture, smoke, cooking odours, and indoor pollutants. Structural ventilation controls heat levels in the attic, moderates dampness in the crawlspace and basement, and keeps moisture out of uninsulated walls.

Proper ventilation prevents air pollutants from affecting the health of you and your family. Not only that, having airflow in your home can get rid of any unwanted smells, such as from cooking or pets. One of the reasons ventilation is so important is because it controls how much moisture is lingering in your home.

Ventilation helps your home rid itself of moisture, smoke, cooking odours, and indoor pollutants. Structural ventilation controls heat levels in the attic, moderates dampness in the crawlspace and basement, and keeps moisture out of uninsulated walls. It is also good to have an airflow that is uninterrupted, as anything blocking the air flow in your home can cause damage to both your home and your health. One of the reasons ventilation is so important is because it controls how much moisture is lingering in your home. 

A good ventilation system will help expel a build up of pollutants, bacteria and moisture. Unless you have a ventilation system in place, you have no control of the air flow in a building. We often have to be inside in poorly ventilated spaces, which can be detrimental to our health. It is important to have well-ventilated rooms at home and in the workplace.

Proper ventilation prevents air pollutants from affecting the health of you and your family. Furthermore, proper ventilation controls the level of moisture in your home eliminating condensation and damp. Also ensuring you have an adequate airflow in your property will keep cooking smells and steam of showers and baths to a minimum.  

Five Important Reasons Why Your Home Needs Good Ventilation:

1. To remove condensation which causes damage to the home

A recent My Health My Home survey found that 58% of homes experience condensation.  Everyone knows what condensation is, but what causes condensation and what can be done about it?

If you have ever noticed the droplets of water that form on the outside of a canned drink when you take it out of the fridge, then you have seen condensation at first hand. The reason why this happens is all to do with temperature, air and water vapour.  The temperature on the surface of the can is reduced as air passes over it. As the air gets cooler its relative humidity rises and the water vapour turns into moisture. The air passing over the can is unable to hold onto the moisture which ends up as droplets running down the side of the can’s cold surface.

This is what happens in thousands of households across the nation when the temperature drops inside the home, especially at night time when the heating is turned off. Just like the canned drink, the air reaches the point where it can no longer hold onto to all the moisture that we create in our homes and it migrates to the coldest surfaces – the windows, walls and behind furniture – where it appears as condensation or the more familiar sight of streaming windows.

Condensation is most noticeable in winter because there is a large difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the home. That means once the heating is turned off the inside temperature drops quickly and soon reaches the point of 100% saturation. As the air cools further, some of the water can no longer be held in the form of invisible water vapour and begins to form liquid droplets. Condensation is the most common form of dampness and will eventually lead to mould growth.  If it is left to develop over time then damp patches may start to appear on walls, which means that wallpaper may peel and ultimately black mould will grow. This leads to musty smells, damage to the fabric of the house and it can even result in health problems.

Introducing adequate ventilation, with a condensation control unit, gently ventilates the home from a central position such as the landing to transform a stagnant and stale atmosphere into a fresh, healthy and condensation free environment.

2. To make a healthier living environment and reduce asthma

Did you know that damp and mouldy conditions can be major triggers for asthma?

If a home does not have an adequate ventilation system and humidity is high, this can provide a perfect breeding grounds for dust mites. These dust mites and their airborne detritus thrive in homes that don’t are not effectively ventilated.  When their detritus comes into contact with the skin or is inhaled, it can cause allergic reactions, resulting in asthma attacks, eczema, watering eyes, itching, sneezing and a runny nose. These issues can be significantly reduced with an effective ventilation system and some asthma sufferers have seen immediate benefits when such a system has been fitted in their homes.

3. To help alleviate symptoms of hayfever

In the summer, hay fever causes misery and suffering for many people. An effective ventilation systems can filter out larger particles, such as pollen, preventing them from entering the home. Having a ventilation system in place means there’s no need to open the window, which can cause a problem for those with pollen allergies. A ventilation system could be the answer to a more comfortable summer.

Some sufferers of seasonal health conditions, such as hay fever and pollen allergies, have noticed improvements in their condition when an effective ventilation system is fitted. A constant supply of filtered fresh air entering the home can help to control pollutants in the indoor atmosphere, which can have a positive impact on health. 

4. To reduce the effects of naturally-occurring Radon gas

Some parts of the country are affected by Radon gas. This is a colourless, odourless radioactive gas, which is formed by the decay of small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. When this occurs it produces another radioactive element called Radon’s Daughters, which can attach themselves to dust particles in the air and, if inhaled, they will stick to the airways of the lung.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has linked Radon exposure to between 3 and 14 per cent of all lung cancer cases.

Radon is mainly found in areas with high levels of granite and other igneous rocks and is particular prevalent in areas such as the South West and the East Midlands. If you are in a Radon-affected area, it is worth having tests carried out in your home and it may be the case that a Positive Input Ventilation system can help to reduce Radon to safe levels, reducing the risks to your health.

5. To lessen the impact of VOCs

Volatile Organic Compounds – or VOCs as they’re often known – are invisible gases that can lead to many health problems in the home.  The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks calculates there are up to 900 chemicals in indoor air, with negative side-effects much more common in properties without adequate ventilation. In fact, figures from the Environmental Protection Agency show the air inside homes could be 70 per cent more polluted than it is outdoors!

VOCs originate from a wide range of sources including cosmetics, air fresheners, through to permanent markers. Following certain activities such as cleaning and stripping paint, VOC levels could be as much as 1,000 times higher than background outdoor levels. Homeowners can take steps to protect themselves and their families by installing aneffective ventilation system fitted to constantly introduce clean, fresh air from the outside to dilute and control VOCs in the home.

Check all the products which provide fresh air for your building

Ways to keep our Building & Environment cool without an AC !

Unquestionably, bringing down indoor temperatures without an air conditioner can be one hard-hitting task. But, think of our older generations; they used simple methods to stay cool during the summers which worked wonders. And yes, we need to acknowledge the fact that most of those methods were non-polluting and cost-effective. Building on this, today we take you through a few of the most common eco-friendly ways of keeping yourself cool during the summers – Note without wasting electricity or harming the environment.

1. Green Shade

A hint of greenery always brightens our living spaces; sadly, most of us are living in concrete jungles where natural shade is totally absent. We have allowed a lot of direct sunlight to beat our windows and roofs during the hottest times of the day – resulting in exceptionally high indoor temperatures.

Trees if planted on the southern and western sides of your house provide a great deal of natural green shade. Also, these are great for the environment as it can offset some of the carbon emissions produced from your AC’s. Irrespective of the fact that most of us cannot afford to have a spacious landscaped garden around our homes; we can still have a few pots in our balconies and kitchen gardens.

2. Use The Window Advantage

Like we say – Let the air in….

We must use our Windows to the fullest as these are key in keeping your homes cool. Open your Windows to create cross ventilation through the house. Try opening your windows more during the morning time as the air is fresher.

Another important thing, add curtains as these play a role in regulating the temperature. Insulating curtains can help your home in both summer and winter; this is because these blocks hot air out in the summer and cool air out in the winters.

3. Whitewash Your Roof

This might sound strange, but whitewashing the roof with some light colors actually works in bringing down the indoor temperature by 5-10 degrees. Also, not just the indoors of the homes, if all the surfaces in a city are painted white, they can considerably bring the temperature down for the entire surrounding. This interesting technique is an ancient one, which is still used in parched regions like Rajasthan.

All you would need to do is apply a single coat of good quality exterior paint which is water-proof on your building roof every two-three years depending upon the amount of rain received in the region you stay.

4. Rooftop Garden

Did you know? Rooftop gardens can be installed on large and small commercial/residential buildings and even on vehicles having a roof. These interesting gardens help in creating a refreshing pollution-free environment and act as a mobile indoor air purifier – especially in congested cities where we stay. The thick layer of soil helps in cooling down the air below the roof automatically.

These interesting garden set-ups can bring back the lost bees, birds, butterflies, etc. which are no longer seen in the polluted cities we live in.

5. Khus Khus Carpet

Source

In small and medium-sized towns, Khus Khus carpets are one ultimate equipment that is used to beat the summer heat. These carpets made of khus khus are soaked in water and hanged from the ceiling, spreading across the terraces. The most interesting thing about them is that they do not allow the heat in the air to pass through, instead, it evaporates providing cool breeze for people living behind the layer.

6. Proper Insulation

This is more relevant for those who live in old buildings/apartments; Proper insulation can do wonders in keeping the cool air inside. And the most important aspect of proper insulation is ensuring your home is airtight i.e. air isn’t managing to escape through the doors or windows.

If you are planning to build a new home, identifying basic insulating materials are important. Here is a list of basic insulating materials; wool insulation materials, slag slabs, natural fibre insulation materials, porotherm bricks, gypsum board, vermiculite and perlite insulation materials, cementitious foam insulation materials, gasket cork sheet, insulation facings etc.

Stay Cool + Environmentally Friendly

With these tips in place, you can stay cool and harm the environment in the least possible way. Once you start implementing these tricks at your home, you will stay cool, save loads on your electricity bill and be gratified on the fact that – You are helping the environment.

source – Gosmartbricks

Sustainable Cooling Solution’s

EXCEL CoolCoat® is a water-based, high solids, PUD hybrid, Summer Cool coating for Roof. EXCEL CoolCoat® contains both reflection and nano insulation pigments for best in class heat protection. Along with it, the adhesion enhancer & Nano UV protectors prevent the coating from UV degradation delivering excellent weatherability and longer service life. EXCEL CoolCoat® is powered with micro-fibres for excellent water proofing & crack resistance.

EXCEL CoolTile is a heat reflective & insulation tile which will reduce heating effect of the buildings, save significant energy and adds on maintenance savings. The product is environmental friendly, commercially resourceful and suitable for various applications such as industrial projects, commercial buildings, houses, cold storages & any new/old terrace buildings

EXCEL StayCool is an advanced Nano-technology based transparent glass coating which insulates the glass, and it can effectively filter majority of the UV & IR rays emitted by the sun while still allowing most of the visible light to penetrate through the glass. It acts as a thermal barrier all-round the year, thus reducing upto 30% of air-conditioning and heating cost.

Let us Understand from the world’s best cities to fight Air Pollution!

Believed to cause 7 million premature deaths every year, air pollution is increasingly being recognized as a silent public health emergency.  Perhaps, it is the most explicit illustration of how closely intertwined our health is to the state of our environment. Its particles have been found in human hearts and brains. It has been linked to asthma, alzheimers, dementia, cancer, and stroke as well as mental health issues and miscarriage

Sadly, despite its known damage, over 90% of people around the world still breathe dirty air. It has sort of become a routine for our country to get worried and alarmed as the pollution levels rise up after Diwali and during the winters. There is no reason to think that we have not tried taking up various means to curb the pollution menace, but the problem is still far from being solved. On the other hand, a number of cities all over the world have successfully adopted approaches that have brought pollution significantly under control.

So, here’s taking a look at a number of cities around the world from which India can definitely take ideas from.

1. London

The Great Smog of 1952 was what prompted the UK government to take strong action for controlling air pollution. The smog reduced visibility to a couple of feet, killed over ten thousand people, and lasted for more than four days. The Clean Air Act 1956 was promulgated, under which both industrial and domestic smoke was regulated. The burning of smokeless fuels was made mandatory and the government started giving subsidies to people to make them opt for clean fuels. Thus, over the years the air quality improved. Presently, the city has implemented ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone), which means drivers of polluting cars will have to pay hefty fines. Due to all these actions, the pollution levels have dropped to a third of what it was.

2. Freiburg

Freiburg in Germany not only has really cheap public transport, but there’s also a 500 km long cycle route and tramways all over the city. Some of the suburbs have banned people from having their car parked near the houses. In fact, people also get incentives like affordable housing and cycle spaces to give up on cars.

3. Amsterdam

Amsterdam has banned diesel and gasoline vehicles starting from the year 2030. The government has further decided to use parking permits and subsidies to make people more inclined to opt for cleaner fuels, leading to a pollution-free city.

4. Copenhagen

The capital city of Denmark is known for promoting the use of cycles for the longest time. In fact, the city now has more cycles than residents! Large sections of the city are banned for the entry of cars. By the year 2025, the city aims to be carbon neutral.

5. Beijing

China became rapidly industrialized after the eighties, and the result of that was seen in the way the air in the capital city filled with pollution. Two main factors behind the rising pollution in the city were the increasing number of cars and the burning of coal. The Chinese government implemented laws mandating ultra-low vehicular emissions and started promoting public transport. Recently, in 2013-17, fine particle levels were reduced by thirty-five percent.

6. Mexico

Mexico was suffering the same way in the 1980s, as Delhi is now. However, with the car rationing rule enforced in 1989, the odd-even scheme was implement and several cars were taken off the road. The pollution dropped to twenty percent during this time. Strict vehicular laws and better public transport changed the pollution situation to a great extent for the city.

Tackling air pollution is now a national emergency. In the drive to build smarter cities across the country, what is the most important thing we should do to tackle air pollution?

Source – Go Smart Bricks

Understand the Types of Air Ventilation fans

Ventilation fans are used to circulate the air in the buildings or houses. This type of ventilation is known as mechanical ventilation in which fans or blowers are used to create movement of the air. The other way to ventilate a house is using the natural ventilation where the air is moved by natural forces.

A good design of a house will incorporate the natural ventilation as much as possible to reduce the electricity bill as well as the conservation of the environment. However, it is inevitable that suitable fans will have to be installed to ensure that the air quality in the house is fresh and safe for the people to stay.


Ventilation Fans – Volume of Air Change

The amount of air that needs to be ventilated is determined by the size of the space measured using the air volume. Different space will need different ventilation system. For instance, it is recommended that the kitchen should have an air change of 12 per hour.

If the volume of the kitchen is 5,000 cu feet, a fan with a capacity of 5,000X12=60,000 cu foot/hour(which is equivalent to 1,000 cfm) is required to have an air change of 12 per hour. Cfm is cubic foot per minute and is usually specified in the specifications of the fan.

The table below shows a typical recommended air changes/hour. However, always check with your local regulators on the design requirements during the design stage.

No Space Air Changes/hour
1 Bakeries 20
2 Restaurants 12
3 Garages 12
4 Offices 10
5 Toilets 20
6 Tunnels 6
7 Bowling Alleys 12
8 Churches 6
9 Factories 10
10 Auditorium 6

Mixed Flow Inline Duct Fan



Fan Applications For Ventilation Purposes

Here are some ventilation fan applications that you may encounter in your everyday life.

Kitchen 

The kitchen fan in the house is usually small in size and is usually a propeller fan that is mounted on the window or wall of the kitchen. For wall mounted type, you will need to make a hole on the wall of the kitchen when you build or renovate your house.

There are many types of propeller fans in the market, hence it is always a good idea to source for a suitable fan with proper specifications. 

Attic

The attic fans are used to draw in outside air to the house during summer nights when the outside air temperature is lowered than the inside of the house. In this way, the internal house is cooled without utilizing any air conditioners.

The use of fans to cool the house in this way lowers the operating cost by using the cool air from the outside. Propeller fans are usually used with a cfm that give a minimum of 2 air changes per minute. Ducting work connecting a few rooms to a centrifugal fan can also be done.

Exhaust 

This type of fans have cfm capacities up to 80,000 and are used in places such as factories to remove hot or corrosives fumes. Duct work need to be done for hood application.

KDK Ceiling Ventilation Fan

Jet Ventilation Fan

Selection Of Fans

When choosing suitable fans for your application, take into consideration the following factors.

  • Install the fans on rubber or other absorbents to prevent the noise generated by the fan being transmitted into the house. The location of the fans are also critical to ensure that they do not emit too much noise in areas such as the living rooms and bedrooms.
  • Ensure you do a calculation on the air changes per hour and select proper fans. If necessary, consult a qualified engineer to do this.

Here are some parameters that you will want to look for when choosing a suitable ventilation fan.

  • Power Consumption(W) – This is the power input of the fan which will determine the electricity consumed.
  • Current(A) – This is the current consumption of the fan.
  • Air Volume(cfm or cubic meter/hour) – This is the most important parameter that you should look out for. You will need to calculate the cfm requirements of the space to be ventilated and find the most suitable fan. 
  • Fan Speed(RPM) – This is the revolution per minute of the fan.
  • Sound(dB) – This is a measurement of the sound emitted when the fan is operating. Different manufacturers will have different values. Look for a lower dB if sound is your main consideration during its operation.
  • Net Weight(kg) and Installation opening – Use these parameters when making the mounting hole of the wall.

To know more about types of fans check here, if want to understand more about the fans submit your Inquiry and our team will help you in understanding more about the product, it’s usage & application.

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