Irish Schools urged to do homework on Hepa ventilation systems: Value to be had in selecting fit-for-purpose technology
OKTO ready to play its part in making schools a safer and more productive environment
Irish smart and healthy buildings specialist OKTO is urging schools to carry out the necessary due diligence to ensure they are putting in place fit-for-purpose, independently certified air cleaning solutions that are effective against COVID-19.
When sourcing air cleaning technology solutions, Philip Dowds, managing director at OKTO says it is critical that schools do their homework and follow the Department of Education’s guidelines ( https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/c6578-room-air-cleaner-guidance-for-schools/ ) before purchasing any filtration technology. With a glut of products and offerings in the market, it is important to recognize that not all products are as effective in doing the job that may be required by the particular school.
The warning from this industry expert comes as the Irish Government has just announced its commitment to provide up to €72 million in funding to support schools and childcare facilities in the context of COVID-19. The funding will be available for use by schools and childcare facilities for general building and ventilation improvements and in particular for the purchase of high-efficiency particulate-absorbing filter (Hepa) machines.
Welcoming this latest move in the fight against COVID-19, Philip Dowds, managing director at OKTO said: “Along with leading scientific and public health experts, we have been calling for some time for more emphasis to be placed on the importance of good ventilation and the critical role that Hepa certified air cleaning systems must play in removing airborne viruses in indoor spaces. We believe any move to fund and accelerate the installation of medical grade air cleaning filtration systems where they are needed will provide a very positive return on any investment.”
“Great advances have been made with the technology and there are really effective and affordable medical grade solutions that can be made available from €500 for a single portable unit rated to serve a classroom size of up to 46 sq m,” Dowds says.
“Medical grade Disinfecting Filtration Systems (DFS) can help combat the spread of airborne viruses and improve health, performance and safety, providing a 99.99% efficiency rate on all pollutants down to .007 microns (COVID measures between 0.6 and 0.14 microns), providing fresh clean air to any indoor space,” he says.
Headquartered in Belfast, OKTO has recently opened an office in Dublin and is now ready to play its part in equipping Irish schools with its proven solutions, where over 1.4 million units have been sold worldwide, including installations at the Toyko Olympics earlier this year.
Based on technology initially developed for the US military, Dowds says OKTO’s DFS technology is independently tested to be among the most effective air cleaning systems in the world, exceeding the European Standard EN1822 for Hepa filter devices and are completely chemical and ozone free. The company which employs over 80 people, provides a range of air cleaning solutions from portable units for single room spaces and/or as part of a fully fitted air ventilation and filtration systems up to 1 million sq.ft.
OKTO is a member of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), committed to enhancing buildings to help people thrive.