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!

Top 10 Building Material used in Construction in India

There are many different types of building materials used in the construction industry including Concrete, Steel, Wood and Masonry. Every single material is varied with diverse properties like weight, strength, durability and cost making it suitable for certain types of applications. The choice of materials for construction is based on cost and effectiveness to resisting the loads and stresses acting on the structure. Architects and builders work closely with their clients and decide on the type of Construction and Building Materials to be used in each project.

Now, the construction industry in India fits in a variety of locally sourced materials. This highly depends on the kind of construction, which range from ‘Kuccha’ mud houses to modern town infrastructures that use prime building materials. The pressing problem with the industry is, however, the way the source materials are obtained. Sand mining, open fly ash factories, and disregard of sustainability standards have had a huge impact on the environment across the past decades. While the civil engineering and construction industry has boomed over the past decade, the country faces strong challenges from the exhaustive and highly polluting nature of building materials. Problems like illegal sand mining have been affecting the river systems. Densely clustered city planning has been leading to climatic disasters like the one our nation’s capital city has been fighting with for over a decade now.

Construction and Building Materials used in India

The new age infrastructure weights a blend of innovative construction styles along with the use of vigorous technology and high end and durable construction and building material to bring in the desired shell life and sustainability. With upsurging numbers of skyscrapers and huge infrastructure projects being planned, the need for them to be made up of most appropriate materials has risen. In 1990, the Indian Government took an initiative under the Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) to encourage and promote sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally feasible building materials. The commonly used construction and building materials in India includes:

Source

1. Wood

Compared to alternatives like plastic and other engineered products, wood offers a great natural advantage. Traditionally, wood construction has been the primary choice of Indian construction, especially in rural areas. In modern times, wood as a building material is also making headway into urban spaces. The advantages include:

  • High tensile strength – lightweight and higher self-support length
  • Heat and electrical resistance – natural resistance to construction and heat – offering more stability and safety
  • Sound absorption – Naturally acoustic properties make it a great advantage in city living and workspaces
  • Aesthetic – Again, the natural touch of wood is fresh. Also, an incredible range of wood is available, based on the need.

Wood construction, however, has its set of disadvantages including:

  • Deforestation – sourcing requires cutting down of trees
  • Prone to damage – Easily damaged by natural elements
  • High maintenance – requires expensive maintenance

Source

2. Plastic

Mainly used as polymers in the construction industry, they form a relatively small percentage of the building materials in India. Its advantages include:

  • Can be molded into any shape or form
  • Hard, resilient, heat tolerant
  • Immune to water damage
  • Cost effective

However, at the same time,

  • Environment damage – Is not biodegradable and hence pollutes the environment
  • Flammable – Can be an easy cause of fires

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3. Glass

Glass has become an exceedingly important material in the urban scape. Not just corporate offices, but even modern homes are using glass as a façade alternative. The main advantages include:

  • Beautification – Looks good from outside
  • More sunshine – allows for maximum use of daylight, while saving energy costs
  • Privacy – Comes in a huge variety of reflective surfaces to offer privacy
  • UV Resistant – Keeps off the harmful UV rays from the indoors

However, glass fails when it is about:

  • Costly – Expensive to deploy and needs to be carefully handled
  • High maintenance – Requires regular cleaning and this can be challenging with high glass walls
  • Security concerns – Privacy and safety can be compromised

Source

4. Metal

Aluminum and steel alloys form a big part of the construction industry across the globe and are in fact the framework for big structures. The strengths lie in:

  • Flexibility and resilience – Highly durable and strong
  • Weatherproof – Can withstand adverse climatic conditions to a great extent
  • Fire resistant – less prone to burning, compared to wood or glass

Its disadvantages include:

  • Prone to rust – and consequently affects the structural integrity of the construction
  • Difficult to seal – inconvenient to design
  • Expensive – metal constructions are highly expensive. Also, they require high maintenance

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5. Cement

Cement is a binder and is perhaps the crux of all kinds of construction across India. It offers strong resilience to the construction and overall integrity of the building. The advantages include:

  • Massive and are better at accumulating heat – a longer warming/cooling cycle
  • Strong – can resist high compressive load
  • Easily manufactured

However, cement brings in several disadvantages when you look at the environment side of the issue. They have:

  • High carbon footprint
  • Are too hard and consequently very brittle – prone to cracking
  • Weather quickly – suck up dirt and dampness

Source

6. Bricks and Blocks

Made up of clay or mud, bricks come in several shapes and offer high strength to the construction. They have long been used to construct homes and offices across India. Its advantages include:

  • High thermal stability
  • Made from local materials
  • Cheap to manufacture and durable to use
  • Offers a range of insulation, moisture absorption and resonance properties

However, bricks are:

  • Environmentally damaging – soil excavation resulting in soil erosion
  • Requires high construction costs

7. Fly Ash Bricks

Fly Ash Bricks is a building material made using class C or class F fly ash and water. Fly ash is a byproduct from coal-fired power plants that are frequently used as an admixture in concrete to replace a portion of the Portland cement. Fly ash bricks are very commonly used in India mainly in the construction of low-rise buildings.

Few categories of fly ash bricks are also made from mineral residue, glass, water, and fly ash. They are energy efficient, water-resistant and provide natural thermal insulation for a low-cost house. But, they too come with certain disadvantages, these include:

  • Slow Strength Gain
  • Longer Setting Times
  • Poor Air Content Control

Read more at: Disadvantages Of Using Fly Ash Bricks In Your Project6. Concrete

Concrete, as in cement brings in the same set of advantages and disadvantages. They are long lasting building materials and have become the foundation for India’s bridges, highways, reservoirs, dams, parking structures, and everything big.

8. Concrete

Concrete, as in cement brings in the same set of advantages and disadvantages. They are long lasting building materials and have become the foundation for India’s bridges,

highways, reservoirs, dams, parking structures, and everything big

Source

9. Ferrocement Wall Panels

Ferrocement is made of cement mortar reinforced with small diameter closely spaced steel wire mesh to form a thin section conforming high performance of serviceability. It is a type of slim wall reinforced concrete panel where hydraulic cement is casted with closely spaced layers of continuous small diameter metal mesh. Ferrocement wall panels are used for walling and are particularly suitable where speedy construction is needed.

Salient features:

  • Energy efficient
  • Cost effective
  • Dimensional regularity in size and shape
  • Saves time in construction

10. Clay Bricks – The Most Superior Building Material

Clay bricks are, first of all, ideal for the tropical climate like India. Consequently, it has also been the oldest known building material for its utility and high sustainability. What’s more important is that clay brick is the healthiest and greenest of all the alternative solutions. Sourcing of clay is the least devastating on the environment and it can even be recycled into the process.

There are others too…

Apart from the ones listed above, plastic, ceramic and foam are other commonly used construction and building material in India.

– Foam– This one is mainly used for insulation purposes. Foam is known for its properties for maintaining temperatures, being light in weight and extremely flexible between building materials like cement and wood.

– Ceramic – a tile or fixture that is made up of clay that are fired up in kilns. These are mainly used in construction project for flooring, walls, counter tops and occasionally for ceilings in buildings.

– Bamboo – unquestionably, bamboo is one of the first construction and building materials known to man. While this material isn’t used extensively in urban construction, you may still see them in good use in rural areas. Bamboo is a perfect green building material that has been very popular in India due to its durability and low cost.

Conclusion

As the need for futuristic homes increases, we also need to be responsible for the environmental impact that our population leaves behind. Choosing green building materials like clay can help the cause of the environment and is perhaps the best solution at hand presently.

Source – www.gosmamrtbricks.com

8 Sensible ways to save water at home !

At these turbulent times when our climate is on thin ice and water shortage plague the entire world, we need to do our best to conserve our most precious natural resource. One of the foremost important resources for the survival of not only humans but all beings and plants on our planet is water. Sadly, typical homeowners use more water than required and waste such a lot of it every single day.

If you’re trying to save lots of money on water bills, it makes much sense to seem at the ways to save water at home. Amazingly, there are some super easy ways to scale back water consumption; keep reading!

Sensible Ways To Save Water At Home

Ways To Save Water At Home

1. Be Mindful While Washing, Brushing And Showering

An average faucet lets out about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. This water oftentimes gets totally wasted, especially while you soap and scrub your hands and brush your teeth. So, make sure to turn your faucet off while you soap your hands and brush and leave it off until you’re ready to rinse. This will definitely save a few gallons of water. The same goes for showering. If you turn off the water while you soap your body and hair or shave, you can save as much as 10 gallons of water. You can also turn on a timer and cut your showers short—5 or 6 minutes are all you need for a refreshing morning shower.

2. Fix Your Leaks

Fixing leaky faucets and toilets is one of the first things you need to do to save some water. IT doesn’t matter how you do it – take a DIY route or hire a plumber either ways you can manage to fix these (usually) simple malfunctions. If your leaks aren’t noticeable, you might want to carry out a good inspection. Call a professional to check your lines and you’ll save both money and resources.

3. Upgrade Your Fixtures

One great way to save some water at home is to upgrade the fixtures you use every day. Some old faucets tend to use much more water than newer models, so you might want to ditch them for something newer. Plus, if your old hardware is damaged, you’re risking leaks and huge water waste and even damage, so grabbing something new might be your best bet.

4. Run Only Full Loads

This might be a tricky thing to pull off, but make your best to always run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full. Half-loads tend to waste gallons of water! Some new models of appliances have a half-load cycle, but you’ll still get to waste some precious resources.

Ways To Save Water At Home

5. Grab A Double Sink

If you don’t own a dishwasher, you can do what our grandmas used to do when washing dishes. Make smart use of your dual sink and instead of letting all the water run down the drain while you wash dishes, fill one side with hot water and soap and keep the other one filled with cool, clear water for rinsing. This way, you’ll get to reduce your water waste in half! If you don’t have a double sink, two large bowls, one for washing and one for rinsing, will suffice.

6. Reuse Gray Water

If you don’t want to send all that water down the drain after washing your clothes, you can re-route it and reuse this gray water for flushing the toilet or washing your car.

7. Turn To Xeriscaping Gardening

Let’s face it, lush green gardens demand a lot of irrigation, but these are important to eradicate pollution and clean the air. You can turn to a gorgeous xeriscaping garden which uses plants that are immune to droughts. If you wish to retain some part of your lawn, make sure to water it in the morning or evening to reduce water evaporation.

8. Collect Rainwater

If you install a rainwater harvesting barrel in your garden, you’ll get to catch plenty of reusable water. This rainwater can be stored until you need it for watering plants, washing your car or even bathing your pooch (if the water is fresh).

Over To You!

In most homes, the bathroom is where the vast majority of water is consumed. The kitchen generally follows quite closely, with the laundry room a distant third. In each of these rooms, there are several ways to save water at home, and many devices and appliances which can support your mission to curb your water usage. For now, you can begin with these tips.

Source – www.gosmartbricks.com

Fly Ash brick is not good for a Sustainable Building !

What is Fly Ash? It is a powder containing toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, antinomy, chromium, etc. These metals create a very negative impact on our environment and are one of the things that go into the making of Fly Ash Bricks.

In this blog, we shall highlight the 7 major disadvantages of using Fly Ash Bricks in your construction project.

Let’s Begin With – What Is Fly Ash Bricks?

Fly Ash Bricks is a building material made using class C or class F fly ash and water. Fly ash is a byproduct from coal-fired power plants that are frequently used as an admixture in concrete to replace a portion of the Portland cement

Disadvantages Of Using Fly Ash Bricks

Image by Thamizhpparithi Maari under CC BY-SA 3.0

Fly ash in concrete is believed to improve performance in some ways, however, it has some evident disadvantages. We’ve highlighted a few disadvantages of using Fly Ash in concrete below:

1. Slow Strength Gain

Once concrete changes to a solid state a few hours after pouring, but its curing process takes longer. After its initial setting period, It continues to gain strength for weeks. The addition of fly ash can increase the length of time concrete takes to reach its full strength, this can be a big issue as slow strength gain directly affects the speed of construction.

2. Longer Setting Times

Fly ash admixtures can increase the time concrete takes for settling. Occasionally this could be desirable, mostly in hot weather where concrete set times are hustled, but during other times it can be a matter of inconvenience as it can delay construction. In such scenarios, other admixtures could be needed to adjust the set time of the concrete. Again, this proportion of admixtures could depend on the percent fly ash in the mixture and the outside temperature.

3. Poor Air Content Control

Concrete is vulnerable to damage from freeze/thaw cycles if it does not contain air. Here, tiny air bubbles can be created in concrete by using air-entraining admixtures which cause the concrete to foam in the mixing and pouring stage. Fly ash reduces the amount of air entrainment, and concrete mixtures high in fly ash often require more air-entraining admixture.

4. Seasonal Restrictions

Now, the winter season is very problematic for concrete pouring, and mixtures high in fly ash are even more prone to low temperatures. As we highlighted before, low temperatures increase the setting times and cause slow strength gain even in concrete mixtures without fly ash. And, when fly ash is added it can exaggerate these problems.

5. Color Inconsistency

While the structural effects of fly ash in concrete are more critical, it also has some cosmetic concerns. If there is fly ash in concrete it becomes more difficult to control the color. Fly ash can also cause many more visual inconsistencies on the finished surface, like dark streaks rising due to carbon particles.

6. Size limitations

Fly Ash Bricks face major limitations in size. Also, only modular size bricks can be produced. Large size bricks face the danger of getting more breakages or cracks.

7. Restricted Suitability

Not all fly ash is suitable for construction, only those produced in power plants are usually compatible with concrete. Other fly ash may need beneficiation. It is very important to use only high-quality fly ash otherwise it can have negative effects on the structure.

Let’s Summarise

Smaller builders and housing contractors may not be very familiar with fly ash products, that can have different properties depending on where and how the fly ash was obtained. Also, fly ash applications can face resistance from traditional builders who are well aware of its tendency to effloresce along with the concerns about thaw/freeze performance. Other prominent concerns of using fly ash bricks include:

  • Slower strength gain
  • Seasonal limitation
  • Increased need for air-entraining admixtures
  • Increase of salt scaling produced by higher proportions of fly ash

Alternatively, Walls made with Porotherm Smart Bricks i.e. has the power of Clay provides the home builders with a lifetime opportunity of building strong, comfortable, and healthy homes during all seasons.

Ways to make Sustainable Buildings and it’s requirement after post covid era !

As global warming and climate change increasingly enter public consciousness and impact public life, sustainability and eco-friendly living ways are emerging. Whether through the increasingly popular zero-waste lifestyle or using renewable energy like solar panels, humanity is continually making micro strides towards a more ecologically conscious way of life. Especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing need for cleaner air and water to maintain basic hygiene means we need to take better care of our environments. 

(Source: Green Money)

This shift in the public’s comprehension of our climate crisis has impacted the real estate industry. Builders are more conscious of creating sustainable real estate (also called green real estate).  Buildings and construction centers continue consuming one-third of the world’s energy while contributing 40% of global CO2 emissions. Such statistics have led architects to reconsider their designs, pushing for a more sustainable building process, instead. 

How to Build Sustainable Real Estate

Making buildings energy efficient reduces their carbon footprints drastically. This remains the primary goal of builders across the world. Investing in eco-friendly living is more than just planting a garden or creating green spaces. While these are vital to keeping the air toxin-free, several aspects of the building require consideration to build a green building truly.

LED Lighting

LED lights are slowly replacing filament bulbs as the primary sources of light within a house. LED lights can add an atmospheric glow, and you can adjust the intensity of the light to your specifications. The fact that they enormously reduce your carbon footprint is simply the cherry on top. Therefore, they are becoming a favorite among sustainable real estate builders today. They are sleek, modern features that add elegance and eco-friendliness to every home. 

Vegetable Gardens and Orchards

Building homes with expansive backyards for gardening and growing your greens is also on the rise. This not only provides a breath of fresh air but having greenery around you has been proven to calm residents down. Additionally, you can grow your fruits and vegetables untouched by any pesticides or other foreign bodies. You get all your nutrients while maintaining an ecosystem. 

Insulating the Walls and Floors

(Source: Green Passive Solar Magazine)

Insulation is a huge part of building design that regulates indoor temperatures. It is well-documented that air conditioning and other such temperature regulating machinery adversely impacts the environment. Additionally, they also drive up electricity costs. Well-constructed insulation is a solution to this – ensuring that the indoor temperature stays leveled regardless of the outdoors. 

Solar Energy and Rainwater Harvesting

Solar panels are slowly making their way into everyday use. The cost of purchasing solar panels has come down significantly since they were first introduced as a result. Along with rainwater harvesting – i.e., reusing rainwater for drinking and bathing purposes – solar energy is one of the most energy-efficient methods of building sustainable real estate. Unlike fuel-based energy sources, solar energy has a negligible environmental impact while remaining robust and sustaining your home. Rainwater harvesting, similarly, allows the continuously-depleting underground water table to replenish while being your primary source of water. It can also help bring back the water table, therefore reducing the temperature of the Earth. 

Green Roofs and Walls

Covering the roof with a lawn or the walls with greens is becoming more and more common. This type of sustainable real estate provides a cooling effect and natural insulation and looks very aesthetically pleasing. As we mentioned earlier, greenery has a naturally calming effect. Therefore, green roofs and walls help prevent you from both heat and stress-induced strokes. 

Using Locally-Sourced Building Materials

Several sustainable real estate experts advocate for the use of local resources. This cuts down on possible pollution during the transportation of building materials. It also promotes local businesses and encourages homes to be build using available resources. This ensures that the materials are climate-appropriate and have a much lower environmental impact. 

(Source: Daily Green World)

Looking Forward

These are just a few sustainable real estate trends that have emerged during COVID-19 and are here to stay. Whether in terms of energy efficiency or aesthetic value, the benefits of eco-friendly living cannot be underplayed. 

More people are switching to homes that are environmentally conscious because of better air quality. Builders are answering to these demands and creating more environmentally-friendly homes. Additionally, grading criteria like the US Green Building Council’s LEED program give real estate agencies the push to continue sustainable real estate design today. 

How Industrial Oxygen is different than a Medical oxygen ?

With the unprecedented rise in the coronavirus cases, the demand of medical oxygen has shot up in India.

But what exactly is the medical oxygen?

The air we breathe is a mix of several gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The term ‘medical oxygen’ means high-purity oxygen, which is used for medical treatments and developed for use in the human body.

The medical oxygen cylinders actually contain highly pure oxygen gas.

To get medical oxygen, a person requires a prescription. To prevent contamination, no other types of gases are allowed in the cylinder. 

Oxygen Grades: Medical Vs Industrial

Compressed Gas Association (CGA)  has identified seven grades of oxygen, A to G,  A being 99.0% oxygen, and G 99.55%. The grades are classified according to the purity of the oxygen.

They’re also graded according to how much of the other gasses are still present. In addition to the process used for filling cylinders.

Grade A is the minimum requirement to be labelled by the United States Pharmacopeia Reference Standard (USP). Usually, the grades are separated according to the industries they’re used for.

So how do these two grades differ?

Industrial grade is usually slightly less pure than the medical grade. The oxygen percentage made up to 99.2% for Medical purposes.

In a nut shell its really the filling process is different for both the grades of oxygen, and also, more importantly, the legal procedures and the tests and compliances for purity must be ascertained for medical grade and NOT for industrial grade oxygen.

The key differentiator: 

For medical oxygen the gas company just have to analyse each batch and certify. No other difference. In fact for industrial application needs 99.5% pure oxygen where as for medical as per pharmocopea  all over world is 93+-3%. 

(my addition: only, no harmful contaminants like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides sulfer oxides should be there.) Therefore, in simple terms, Medical oxygen needs checks and certification, while industrial oxygen doesn’t, as a bottomline. Therefore, its important that this difference is also well understood. Moisture content being another ket differentiator between medical and industrial application oxygen. Moisture control in medical grade oxygen is of paramount importance, otherwise the moisture reacts with the metallic cylinder and creates impurities, which are detrimental.

Can you breathe Industrial grade oxygen?

No. You should not breathe Industrial grade oxygen. Medical oxygen is certified to contain a stable percentage of oxygen below a strict threshold of impurities and moisture. Tanks have to be cleaned to exacting standards to ensure that no contaminants may harm the user before refilling. Industrial oxygen does not carry this particular ‘human grade’ certification.

A common belief is that we are breathing 100% oxygen in our atmosphere. That’s not true. The air we breathe is about 21 percent oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen. The last 1% is a mix of other gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

Another common misconception is that people need high purity oxygen that’s close to 100% oxygen for certain occupations or uses. For example, high purity grade oxygen would not be used for firefighting, deep-sea diving, or other uses. Most of these situations use regular air or ABO gas that is often filtered and chilled for user comfort.

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

PM Modi calls for 100 day Campaign for water conservation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there was a need to start conserving water right away and that the Jal Shakti Ministry would be launching a 100-day “catch the rain” campaign soon right from 1st March 2021 onwards.

Mr. Modi was speaking during his monthly radio address, Mann Ki Baat, when he said there was a need to have collective responsibility with regard to water conservation.

“In most parts of India, rainfall begins in May-June. Can we right away start a 100-day campaign for the sake of cleaning up water sources around us and conserving rainwater? With this very thought in mind, in a few days from now, Jal Shakti Abhiyan ‘catch the rain’ is being initiated by the Jal Shakti Ministry,” he said, according to the English translation of his address provided by the government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said there was a need to start conserving water right away and that the Jal Shakti Ministry would be launching a 100-day “catch the rain” campaign soon.

In this regard, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry is also launching “Catch the rain” campaign and its main theme is “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”, he said.

“This is the best time to think about water conservation in the summer months ahead,” Modi said.

Let’s work together in this regard and support in water conservation & harvesting and prepare ourselves for the Extreme summer and then harvest the water during the Monsoon season.

To know more about water efficiency products check here – https://econaur.com/product-category/water-efficiency/

Urban Heat Island Effect and how to mitigate their effects!

“Urban heat islands” occur when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat. This effect increases energy costs (e.g., for air conditioning), air pollution levels, and heat-related illness and mortality.

Climate change will likely lead to more frequent, more severe, and longer heat waves during summer months.

  • The city of Chicago could see 30 more days per year rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) under “high” greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
  • Under lower emissions, Chicago’s new summer heat index could increase to around 93 °F by the end of the century—similar to current summer conditions in Atlanta, Georgia.

City officials worry that intense summer heat could lead to uncomfortable conditions for residents, as well as reduced tourist attraction in summer months.

Extreme heat events often affect our most vulnerable populations first.

Trees, green roofs, and vegetation can help reduce urban heat island effects by shading building surfaces, deflecting radiation from the sun, and releasing moisture into the atmosphere.

Elevated temperatures from heat islands can affect a community’s environment and quality of life in multiple ways.

Increased Energy Consumption

Heat islands increase demand for air conditioning to cool buildings. In an assessment of case studies spanning locations in several countries, electricity demand for air conditioning increased approximately 1–9% for each 2°F increase in temperature. Countries where most buildings have air conditioning, such as the United States, had the highest increase in electricity demand.This increase demand contributes to higher electricity expenses.

Heat islands increase both overall electricity demand, as well as peak energy demand. Peak demand generally occurs on hot summer weekday afternoons, when offices and homes are running air-conditioning systems, lights, and appliances. During extreme heat events, which are exacerbated by heat islands, the increased demand for air conditioning can overload systems and require a utility to institute controlled, rolling brownouts or blackouts to avoid power outages.

Elevated Emissions of Air Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases

As described above, heat islands raise demand for electricity in summer. Companies that supply electricity typically rely on fossil fuel to meet much of this demand, which in turn leads to an increase in air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions.

These pollutants are harmful to human health and also contribute to complex air quality problems such as the formation of ground-level  (smog), fine particulate matter, and  acid rain. Increased use of fossil-fuel-powered plants also increases emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, which contribute to global climate change.

In addition to their impact on energy-related emissions, elevated temperatures can directly increase the rate of ground-level ozone formation. Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of sunlight and hot weather. If all other variables are equal, such as the level of precursor emissions in the air and wind speed and direction, more ground-level ozone will form as the environment becomes sunnier and hotter.

Compromised Human Health and Comfort

Heat islands contribute to higher daytime temperatures, reduced nighttime cooling, and higher air pollution levels. These, in turn, contribute to heat-related deaths and heat-related illness such as general discomfort, respiratory difficulties, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and non-fatal heat stroke.

Heat islands can also exacerbate the impact of naturally occurring heat waves, which are periods of abnormally hot, and often humid, weather. Sensitive populations, such as children, older adults, and those with existing health conditions, are particularly at risk during these events.

Excessive heat events, or abrupt and dramatic temperature increases, are particularly dangerous and can result in above-average rates of mortality. From 2004 to 2018 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 10,527 heat-related deaths in the United States, an average of 702 per year. These numbers include deaths where heat was the underlying cause and deaths where heat was a contributing cause.

Impaired Water Quality

High temperatures of pavement and rooftop surfaces can heat up stormwater runoff, which drains into storm sewers and raises water temperatures as it is released into streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. Water temperature affects all aspects of aquatic life, especially the metabolism and reproduction of many aquatic species. Rapid temperature changes in aquatic ecosystems resulting from warm stormwater runoff can be particularly stressful, and even fatal, to aquatic life.

One study found that urban streams are hotter on average than streams in forested areas, and that temperatures in urban streams rose over 7°F during small storms due to heated runoff from urban materials.

Green infrastructure is one option to cool stormwater runoff and improve water quality. It can include the use of downspout disconnections, rain gardens, planter boxes, bioswales, permeable pavements, green streets and alleys, green parking, and green roofs; as well as land conservation efforts.

To reduce the urban heat island effect:

  • Build green infrastructure improvements into regular street upgrades and capital improvement projects to ensure continued investment in heat-reducing practices throughout your community.
  • Plant trees and other vegetation—Space in urban areas might be limited, but you can easily integrate small green infrastructure practices into grassy or barren areas, vacant lots, and street rights-of-way.
  • City officials in Louisville, Kentucky, recently awarded a $115,700 contract for a tree canopy assessment to help the city use trees to address urban heat, stormwater management, and other concerns. “Knowing where we lack canopy, down to the street and address level, will help our efforts exponentially,” remarked Mayor Greg Fischer.
    • Make traditional water quality practices serve double duty by adding trees in or around roadside planters and other green infiltration-based practices to boost roadside cooling and shading.
    • Transform your community one project at a time by planting native, drought-tolerant shade trees and smaller plants such as shrubs, grasses, and groundcover wherever possible.
  • Build green roofs—Green roofs are an ideal heat island reduction strategy, providing both direct and ambient cooling effects.  In addition, green roofs improve air quality by reducing the heat island effect and absorbing pollutants.

Understand the need of increasing the Temperature of our Air Conditioners !

Keep your AC temperature at moderate to high levels in order for power saving as well as cutting your electricity bill

A move by the power ministry to increase the default temperature in air conditioners to 24 degree celsius will help you save almost Rs 4,000 on annual electricity bills, apart from reducing energy consumption.

The Ministry of Power (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) has said that all room air conditioners (AC) will have to ensure a default temperature setting of temperature in the appliances at 24 degree celsius from January 1, 2020.

How you save

A common misconception is that setting the thermostat at 18 degrees will cool down a room faster. However, that’s not true. It will take the same amount of time for the room to reach 26 degrees—which is significantly cooler than the average current outdoor temperature of 40 degrees in Delhi—whether you set the temperature at 18 degrees or 26 degrees. Of course, 18 degrees will be much cooler than 26 degrees, if that’s what you prefer.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (a body of the Ministry of Power) has said that the reduction in AC temperatures to 24 degrees from the conventional 18-21 degrees can result in 24 percent of energy savings.

Countries like Japan and the US have already put in regulations for the functioning of air conditioners. Japan introduced a default setting for air conditioners at 28 degrees celsius. In the United States, some places have enforced limits on lowering the air condition beyond 26 degrees celsius.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency estimates that, considering the current market trend, the total connected load in India due to air conditioning will be about 200 GW by 2030. This may further increase as only 6 percent of households are using one or more air conditioners at present.

If the measures are followed by all consumers, India can save about 23 billion units of electricity. The total installed capacity of air conditioner is about 80 million TR (tons of refrigeration or amount of cooling required to convert 1000 Kg of water into one tonne of ice in 24 hours), which will increase to about 250 million TR in 2030. The demand for room ACs in India is expected to touch one billion units by 2050, compared to 6.5 million units right now. On the other hand, ACs account for 10 percent of global energy consumption.

Would it be feasible to have the AC temperature at 24 degrees in a humid weather?

The Normal human body temperature is 36-37 degree celsius. Hence, to take a temperature closer to 24 degrees is considered to be healthier for individuals in tropical regions like India. The ministry says that, as per the comfort chart, temperatures up to 25 degrees are quite comfortable for human body, along with the desired humidity and air movement values.

According to ASHRAE Standard 55-2013 Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, The thermal comfort zone is the condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment. This condition is defined using temperature, humidity level and air flow experienced by the human body, apart from individual parameters such as clothing and metabolism. Technical analysis indicates that, in order to achieve the desired comfort level at a steady state, the temperature setting can be 24-25 degree celsius.

Things to remember

The power consumption of an AC doesn’t just depend on the temperature you set it at. How much power your AC consumes depends on its star rating, the outside temperature, the hours of usage, size of the room, number of people in the room, insulation in the room, etc.

If you are setting the AC at low temperature and using a quilt or a blanket, it is not only unhealthy, it is also pure wastage of energy.

Normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37 degrees and putting your body through extreme high temperature on the outside and low temperature on the inside can affect your health.

So increase the temperature of your AC and keep it at moderate levels in order to not only conserve power, but also save on electricity bills.

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