Ever wondered how quickly life can change? How one day you can be going about your usual day – going to work and coming home to your family – then after one small incident life can change...
Estiatorio Milos Restaurant Air Conditioning Installation London
The restaurant air conditioning located on the upper levels at Estiatorio Milos of London was not sufficient to cope with soring summer temperatures and the rising heat from the kitchen and seating...
Synecore Installs Restaurant HVAC System and Commercial Refrigeration for KFC Maidstone
KFC Maidstone opened its doors in December 2018 and Synecore was the mechanical contractor for the KFC franchisee. Synecore designed and installed the restaurant HVAC System and commercial...
Tossed Horseferry Road and Fleet Services Welcome Break
Synecore’s relationship with Tossed began earlier this year, with the development of its Horseferry Road takeaway, which opened in April. Located near to Westminster and Victoria tube stations,...
City Of London Academy Southwark
The team at Synecore found themselves in an unusual situation when they were tasked with taking over the school air conditioning and ventilation installation after the original contractor went out of...
Orangetheory Fitness Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing London
Interior fit-out experts, Ghost Projects contracted Synecore's M&E services to provide the gym ventilation, plumbing, electrical and air conditioning installation for Orangetheory Fitness in...
Royal China Club Restaurant HVAC – A Fileturn Project
Synecore was delighted to once again work for interior fit-out company, Fileturn to install the restaurant HVAC system at one of London's most exquisite Chinese restaurants as part of an extensive...
Synecore’s M&E Contracting Services Prove Instrumental in Pret A Manger National Roll Out
The M&E Contractor is currently in the process of finalising the mechanical and electrical contracts for 27 Pret A Manger sites throughout the UK.
M&E Kent Contract for Specialist Works Office Fit Out
Synecore’s M&E Kent design and installation services facilitated the creative office refurbishment for Kent business, Specialist Works.
HVAC London Design and Installation Contract
Synecore’s HVAC London design and fabrication services facilitated the opening of new restaurant for sensational Italian hospitality brand, Scarpetta.
Another Airside Electrical Contract Flies By at London Gatwick
Working alongside interior solutions experts, Alan Nuttall Partnership, Synecore completed the airside electrical contract for the all-new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and Virgin Holidays v-room at...
Synecore’s air conditioning service will enhance customer experience at London Hotel
Located in the popular area of Shoreditch, Ace Hotel sits within the home of London’s artisans and industrial thinkers. Ace Hotel’s inspiring interior echoes its historical roots of innovation...
The Prince of Wales Opens at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4
The former Bridge Bar at Heathrow Airport was recently transformed to become the new Prince of Wales pub. For the redevelopment, Synecore once again had the opportunity to display its expertise in...
HVAC Installation for Minamoto Kitchoan London
Who wouldn’t want to try the Japanese sweet treats, also known as “Wagashi” by Minamoto Kitchoan? Not only are they tasty, but also healthy. Fortunately the brand is expanding, giving new...
Office air conditioning: Kent firm, Senseco
Kent fire and security solutions company, Senseco, required a full air conditioning system for its two story property on the Gillingham Industrial Estate.
Daikin’s revolutionary air conditioning system is first installed by Synecore
For the first time Daikin’s VRV IV i-Series was installed by M&E contractor, Synecore, at Leon Restaurant in Fenchurch Street, London.
Air conditioning for a small office in Kent
Synecore was approached by PTA UK Ltd to provide an air conditioning system for their head office, based in Shipbourne Road, Tonbridge, Kent.
Kent school prepares for hot summer with air conditioning installation
The school classroom can be an uncomfortable environment during the hot summer months, but fortunately for the students at Fleetdown Primary School in Dartford, Kent, Synecore has...
Huckletree’s entrepreneurs benefit from Mitsubishi Electric’s VRF City Multi air conditioning system
Huckletree offers office space to some of the UK’s budding entrepreneurs and is about to open a new office block in London’s popular Finsbury Square. Working alongside interior design experts,...
Mitsubishi Electric’s concealed air conditioning unit offers ideal heating and cooling for basement restaurant
When technology savvy restaurant, Inamo took over its new site in Hanover Place near Covent Garden it required a complete electrical and mechanical strip out. Having previously operated as Cafe Des...
In the late 1970s people started to report that they were suffering from a variety of nonspecific “symptoms” in newly constructed offices and homes. The media started calling it “office illness”. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the World Health Organisation (WHO) coined the phrase “sick building syndrome” (SBS) and estimated that between 10-30% of newly built office buildings were causing SBS which they attributed to poor indoor air quality. Today some organisations such as the Building Research Establishment (BRE) (PDF) and the World Health Organisation are using the term Indoor Air Quality rather than sick building syndrome.
In 2014 SBS was estimated to cost the British economy 24.6 million in lost working days every year. Fast forward to 2019 and you’d assume that SBS would no longer be an issue, however that’s not the case. At the end of 2019 concerns regarding SBS were again being raised. This was based on the Remark Group’s 2019 Air Quality and Well Being at Work survey which found that in 2019 many workers were still suffering from symptoms of SBS.
Dr Nigel Oseland commented: “I am shocked by the results of this survey, but not entirely surprised. Whilst we are producing some great looking modern offices, we need to pay more attention to basic human needs, to the so-called hygiene factors, such as good indoor air quality, temperature control and noise reduction. The various disciplines within the workplace industry need a concerted effort for a marked step change from sick buildings to healthy buildings. Everyone has the right to work in a healthy workplace.”
SBS is still a very real and global issue.
So What Are the Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome?
As mentioned above when SBS occurs occupants of a building experience a range of different and unexplained symptoms which are related to the time spent within the building, most typically an office building. Sometimes symptoms only manifest themselves in a part of the building, sometimes the entire structure can appear to cause SBS.
Symptoms of SBS can be mild or severe and vary between individuals. In some cases SBS can exacerbate pre-existing health conditions. SBS symptoms can affect your skin, respiratory, and neurological systems.
Common symptoms include: headaches, throat irritation, eye irritation, breathing difficulties, tightness in the chest, cardiac arrhythmias, dry cough, runny nose, sneezing, itchy skin, dizziness, fever and chills, trouble concentrating, nausea, irritability and fatigue, problems with concentration and memory. These symptoms very often abate once the person has left the building.
Unfortunately as there is very often no clear cause for SBS it is very difficult to test for. Diagnosing SBS can also be difficult due to the wide range of symptoms as SBS can affect everyone differently but it is usually pieced together as more people complain about health issues within the same building or area of a building. It’s also likely to be the cause if the symptoms improve upon leaving the building, only to come back on re-entering the building.
Possible Causes of SBS
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have published guidance for employers, building owners and building managers on “How to Deal with Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)” (PDF). The PDF takes you through how to identify and investigate SBS. As previously mentioned it’s sometimes very difficult to close in on an exact cause of SBS. However a wide range of potential causes have been identified over time and include:
Poor ventilation. Buildings where the ventilation is poor is believed to be one of the major contributors to SBS. Inadequate ventilation leading to poor air quality can cause issues within a building. Poor ventilation is usually caused where there is no air conditioning or by an ineffective air conditioning/HVAC system.
Chemical pollution. There are a number of chemicals that can be found in building materials that can lead to SBS. These chemicals are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are found in: pressed word, formaldehyde-based plywood, fibreboard used in furniture and flooring etc.; laminates, linoleum, cork, wall coverings, vinyl flooring, cleaning products, coatings and adhesives.
Biological pollution. Mould, bacteria and viruses make up biological pollution. They can be found where there is dampness present and are very often present in stagnant water in air ducts and in air conditioning systems where maintenance has been poor.
Other pollutants. High levels of dust; carbon monoxide, pesticides, ozone from the use of printers or fax machines and asbestos can cause SBS.
Issues with heating or lighting. High or low heat or humidity and poor lighting can exacerbate SBS.
Improving Your Ventilation / Indoor Air Quality
A good step in trying to prevent or treat SBS is by improving your building’s indoor air quality. This can be done in a number of ways:
You can minimise or remove any contaminants or pollutants from within the environment (a difficult task given that so many building materials contain chemicals that are associated with SBS).
You can remove pollutants through ventilation, filtering and sanitising the air within the building.
You can ensure that your air conditioning system air purification systems are properly and regularly maintained.
Clearly ensuring that your indoor air is good quality can go a long way to reducing SBS.
Synecore For HVAC and Air Purification
Syncore install commercial air conditioning, heating and ventilation (HVAC) and air purification systems. The right air conditioning and purification system for will depend on your business space and whether you have an existing HVAC system or are looking to install a new HVAC system. It will also depend on the air handling capacity of your system and the size of your workspace/building. If you already have an HVAC an air purification system can be retro-fitted.
We’re offering a free survey to offices, schools, supermarkets, shops, restaurants and other commercial environments. We’ll carry out a full inspection of your building and put together a solution that will best meet your needs to ensure you have the best air quality within your workspace.
Once installed planned preventative maintenance of your HVAC and air purification system is vitally important in ensuring that it continues to work efficiently and effectively in maintaining the indoor temperature and keeping the air clean.
Synecore offer planned preventative maintenance (PPM) packages to suit your business and the size of your premises, overseen by an experienced project manager so you know you are in good hands. Your PPM includes scheduled visits throughout the year, as often as is required to keep your system efficient and compliant. We cover Kent, London and across the UK.
If you would like to learn more about how your air conditioning system can play a role in maintaining your building’s air quality please contact Synecore via our contact form or on 01795 509 509. Our team will book an appointment for one of our engineers to visit your site and discuss your options.