Focus On Health In Residential Property Management

The design and construction of a building has a great deal of impact on the health, safety and well-being of its residents. Efficient building design and sustainable building practices go a long way towards ensuring this. Multi-storey residential buildings have their own unique challenges in design and construction, more so due to the higher number of residents involved.

The challenge does not end with constructing a healthy and safe building ? maintenance of the healthy environment is also crucial. This is where facilities management companies like T2 Environmental come in. A good facilities management company has to consider the following aspects to maintain a healthy and safe environment:

Indoor air quality

It is estimated that most Australians spend at least 90% of their day indoors. The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) thus becomes an important indicator of the wellbeing of a building?s occupants. The use of gas appliances like unflued gas heaters and cooking ranges contribute to indoor air pollution. Dust mites, fungi and particulates also pose a threat to the long-term well-being of the inhabitants.

Symptoms of poor IAQ include skin, eye, or throat irritations, headache or drowsiness and mood imbalances. The term ?Sick building syndrome? refers to long-term and chronic symptoms which might lead to respiratory diseases or even certain types of cancer.

Some actions that may be taken to improve the IAQ are:

  • Choosing building materials and paints that are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (low-VOC) for all refurbishment works.
  • Implementing good quality ventilation and exhaust systems, and effective air change mechanisms to flush out contaminants.
  • Using carbon dioxide monitors to check air quality.
  • Regular maintenance involving checking the HVAC system vents and exhausts.
  • Ensuring adequate ventilation after cleaning using chemicals.

Space management

Space is often at a premium, especially in high-density urban areas. Planning and implementation of regulatory measures for shared areas, lounges, car parks, garden and waste dumping facilities come under space management.

Providing appropriate storage spaces and patios, utilising the rooftop space, proper and timely garbage removal and hard waste disposal could be some ways to avoid congestion and follow health and safety standards.

Acoustics and noise

While external noises cannot be fully controlled in a city setting, measures can be taken to minimise the impact and enhance living conditions. Using sound barriers, selecting building materials that absorb sounds and construction styles that minimise sound transmission are measures that can be undertaken during refurbishment periods.

Additionally, the facilities management should take steps to minimise disturbances during regular maintenance and repairs by giving the residents advance notice when noise is expected and avoiding night-time work when possible.

Thermal comfort

Correct application of the principles of heating, cooling and ventilation systems can improve the thermal comfort of a building as well as its energy efficiency. Some actions to improve thermal comfort are:

  • Using appropriate shading and thermal roof insulation.
  • Using solar reflective white paints for rooftops.

Ongoing monitoring of the following is also recommended:

  • Check floor-wall and wall-ceiling joints for any air gaps.
  • Ensure proper working of automatic doors and keeping doors closed to avoid unnecessary air flow.
  • Inspect door and window seals, and frames that could let in a draft.
  • Monitor the condition of thermal roof insulation.

Lighting and visual amenity

For a residential building, different parts require different lighting schemes depending on their purpose. The lighting and building style should be designed to minimise glare glare, yet maximise natural sunlight for thermal efficiency. Some actions include:

  • Adjustable external shades or blinds.
  • Window tinting or automatic blinds.
  • Replacing flickering or blown lamps promptly.
  • Keeping windows and glass doors properly cleaned.
  • Providing dimmers for flexible lighting.

At T2 Environmental, we are passionate about maintaining health and safety standards for our multi-storey residential building clients. We offer property maintenance and facilities management services all across Queensland.

Call us on 1300 578 707 or email sales@t2environmental.com.au to find out more about our services.

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