It was time for PwC in Portugal to renew the rental contract for its office building in Lisbon. Since the company was not always satisfied with the air quality in the building, independent consultants checked it to see whether the ventilation system was actually up to the task. The experts had nothing to complain about with the system itself. However, the intake and exhaust air ducts were no longer in the ideal position for the individual rooms due to numerous renovations made by PwC over approximately 14 years.
“We want to exert a positive, sustainable impact on society – and of course that starts with the well-being of our employees.” Paulo Ribeiro, COO bei PwC in Portugal
The company decided to extend the contract, but completely renovate the interior, including the ventilation ducts. “The architects emphasized that we should have perfect air quality now,” says Paulo Ribeiro, COO at PwC Portugal. “But I didn’t want to just rely on promises, I also wanted to have robust data.”
Pilot for a long-term impact
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So he contacted Nuno Pires from ebm-papst in Portugal. They had already worked together before. This was the ideal time, as the fan specialist had just begun to offer solutions for data-driven buildings, including monitoring and certification of air quality with the RESET standard, through ebm-papst neo. Together, they decided to start a pilot project with the sixth floor of the PwC building. “We are a people-driven organization,” says Paulo Ribeiro. “We want to exert a positive, sustainable impact on society – and of course that starts with the well-being of our employees. So it was completely natural for us to take this step.”
Clean surfaces ≠ Clean air
Sensors that measure humidity, temperature, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds and fine dust were installed in the rooms of the sixth floor. Their data and those of the building management system are imported into the ebm-papst neo Building Connect platform via a gateway, where they can be read out in real time. “At certain times, we always had negative swings,” says Ribeiro. It soon became apparent that the cleaning team’s cleaning agent was making sure that surfaces were clean but was not ensuring clean air. This could be solved by using new cleaning agents.
“RESET creates transparency and therefore trust.”Paulo Ribeiro, COO from PwC in Portugal
The findings from the pilot project impressed PwC, especially the transparency provided when permanently monitoring the air quality. So the project was rolled out across the entire building. The certification process lasted three months and involved keeping the air parameters permanently within a specified range.
Transparency, trust, productivity
“I’m in constant contact with Nuno Pires. If the data shows a negative change, I coordinate with our building services provider,” explains Paulo Ribeiro. And he is impressed by the advantages of certification: “RESET creates transparency and therefore trust. For our employees, it is a good experience to be able to always work with true well-being, which also increases productivity.”