News
February 28, 2013

Buildings for people need a cross functional approach!

For once I plan not to sit through a Swegon Air Academy seminar in Lyon on 22 February 2013. I know the first speaker Frank Hovorka well and we have had many good discussion on his views and ideas on how to get the best value out of buildings by ensuring high quality to protect the investor’s money. However the second speaker Suzanne Deoux, I have not had the pleasure of meeting before. So I take the opportunity to ask her a few questions while Frank is sharing his investor’s perspective on building with the audience.

Susanne is a very charming and charismatic lady who I am sure has had to be quite formidable during her career from a medical doctor through to becoming a researcher. She starts straight off by saying we must have a cross functional approach to solving the problem of getting healthy air into our buildings; it is important; it is the air we breathe!

She is quite fed up with the focus on only energy, when she has seen every day through her medical career as an ear, nose and mouth specialist, the how the health of people, quite often young children, is being affect by serious respiratory issues. There was a feeling that they were not getting to source of the problems and that an open view was needed. Her work took on a more research based direction looking at respiratory diseases, the projects tried to push past the medical boundaries to find out more about the causes in order to deal with the sources, but there was no support for this kind of research.

This she recalls, was a pivotal moment, she was branded as being too extreme and was told she was demanding too much air in the conclusions of her work. At that point she and her husband (who also works in the same field) took a year out to re-evaluate exactly how they could make a greater impact. The result was a re-focus on the buildings where the problems were being created and to make changes where it mattered. Today Suzanne advises on IEQ issues in existing buildings giving an overview of the conditions and in new buildings where she advises during the design phase to encourage the inclusion of good IEQ practises.

Suzanne´s view: “To only consider energy is affecting the health of our citizens.”

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