© PwC Portugal

Good air quality is a clean thing

PwC in Portugal had bad expe­ri­ences with bad air in the office. There­fore, a reno­va­tion was used to create air trans­parency and long-term well-being – with data and a RESET certi­fi­ca­tion.


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.”

Paulo Ribeiro (left) commis­sioned Nuno Pires to advise on and imple­ment the project. (Photo | PwC Portugal)

Pilot for a long-term impact

WHAT THE TECH?! How do air filter systems provide clean air?

How do you clean air? And what does clean air actu­ally mean?

Find the answer here: simple, under­stand­able and with a bit of humor!

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.”

Paulo Ribeiro checks the measured data from the Building Connect plat­form on his smart­phone. (Photo | PwC Portugal)

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