To ensure a healthy and safe environment at its homes for the disabled, Singapore’s THK Disability Services has completed a three-month trial of a sensor-based indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring system at its Eunos and Chai Chee Homes to track CO2 levels at each facility.
According to The National Environment Agency (NEA), CO2 levels in occupied areas are often used as a proxy for ventilation adequacy. Building managers should aim for CO2 levels below 800 parts per million (ppm) at all times. Measurements that exceed 1100 ppm is indicative of inadequate ventilation or potential overcrowding and should be addressed immediately.
“While the pandemic presented new challenges to our team, it also gave us an opportunity to review our processes and make our homes healthier. CO2 sensors are simple and powerful tools to optimise IAQ quality and build confidence for our residents,” said Agatha Tan, divisional director at the THK Disability Services.
THK Disability Services is one of the social welfare organisations under the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities (THKMC).
Tan added: “We are pleased with the results of the trial. On top of real-time actions, our operation team can further analyse historical data stored on the cloud via a user-friendly dashboard, so that we can draw correlations between indoor capacity, length of activities and CO2 levels to predict IAQ and ventilate the rooms regularly.”
THK Disability Services, through THKMC, tapped massive IoT provider UnaBiz to supply the IAQ sensors for the three-month pilot.
During the trial, CO2 levels were captured in real-time and remotely throughout the day, in areas with high footfall such as dormitories, offices, activity rooms, and nursing stations.
The ability to monitor CO2 levels allows for the team to take the necessary corrective actions if predefined thresholds are breached. Measures such as increasing natural ventilation and deploying fans were taken to improve air quality, creating a healthier, safer, and more comfortable environment for over 500 staff and beneficiaries under THK Disability Services.
Jonathan Tan, managing director, UnaBiz Singapore said: “As we transition into the post-pandemic era, vaccines and masks will take a back seat. However, more can be done to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection by improving ventilation and monitoring CO2 levels to minimise aerosol transmissions. We are pleased to support THKMC by empowering the operation team with IoT solutions and real-time data to provide peace of mind to the residents and staff.”
With the completion of the trial, THK Disability Services plans to implement the monitoring sensors in its other facilities located in Sembawang, Geylang Bahru and Pan-Disability Eunos.