Indoor air quality management is the need of the hour, says Serviz CEO
Jarno Hovi, CEO at Serviz, reveals why indoor air quality is an important topic in the region
Since we spend a vast majority of our time indoors, indoor air quality (IAQ) makes a big difference to our health and wellbeing. Spending time indoors is particularly more now, due to the ongoing pandemic.
The scientific community has demonstrated a direct link between air quality and productivity in workplaces, cognitive abilities of students as well as our long term health. There are even suggestions that air quality in shopping malls is directly linked to shop revenues.
With the advent of IoT technologies, cost of continuously harvesting data from buildings have significantly reduced, enabling the implementation of continuous monitoring solutions. This holds true for both new-builds as well as existing infrastructure.
Continuous monitoring creates large amounts of data, which enables drawing insights on air quality over time when combined with analytics solutions. The value of the solution ultimately depends on the quality of the insights so merely monitoring is not sufficient.
One such firm that develops and offers solutions for IAQ management is Serviz. It first started offering the solution in Europe and has now set up operation in the UAE.
Talking more about why facilities managers in the Middle East should be concerned about IAQ, Jarno Hovi, CEO at Serviz, says: “Extreme summer heat and pollution from traffic, construction and fine sand presents a challenge to indoor air quality, which needs to be solved. It is a relevant topic here.”
Hovi adds that humidity in the summer is extremely high in the Middle East. “This creates a high risk for mould growth. This is why we have developed an algorithm that detects mould growth from the sensor data, even before it is visible by microscope,” he says.
According to Hovi, to manage something, you need to monitor it first. He says: “What is required is a holistic picture of the quality of the indoor environment throughout the buildings on a continuous basis. This needs to be complemented with feedback from occupants. Only then will it be possible to draw insights and take action to improve the situation.”
Serviz offers an end-to-end solution, which is fast to implement and includes not only sensors but also analytics, tools to collect occupant feedback and the resulting insights. “We can also consult with our customers on the recommended plan of action,” Hovi adds. The firm also offers API to connect to its clients’ BMS systems.
Commenting on the impact of the pandemic on Serviz’s business, Hovi says: “While some projects have delayed, the increased awareness of health and people spending even more time indoors has created a lot of new demand, which has helped us maintain high levels of growth. We remain positive about the outlook both in the Middle-East as well as elsewhere.”
Serviz is involved at the Dubai Expo, by instrumenting the Finnish pavilion with its solution. The first installations in the UAE were completed by the end of 2019 and include offices as well as educational facilities. Globally, the firm already has more than a thousand customers, so although the solution is new in the Middle-East, it has been proven in other parts of the world, Hovi concludes.