A New Standard For A New Normal: Ventilation In A Post-Covid Built Environment

As Australia adapts to “a new normal”, the building industry is engaged in an important conversation to improve sustainability, promote better and safer design and prioritise occupants’ well-being above all else. Stronger and stronger scientific evidence and experts’ suggestions now point to smarter, automated ventilation as an integral part in such post-covid building standards.

A simulation on educational environment

In February 2021, The New York Times collaborated with leading engineers, specialists in building systems and experts from Harvard University to build a simulation using 800,000 points of data. Although there are slight differences in classroom design between New York and Australian cities, the simulation reveals important facts on how ventilation helps limit aerosol transmission in educational facilities in specific and all public spaces in general.

According to the study, the lack of sufficient ventilation creates an ideal environment for airborne virus to spread around and transmit. It is estimated that 3% of the air each person in the room breathes are exhaled by other people.

This image illustrates how the breath of an infected person disperses throughout the room when all windows are closed. The darker lines signal where the contaminants are most concentrated. Within a short period of time and without fresh air coming into the room, the contaminants quickly circulate and remain, posing high health risks for occupants.

The situation gets better when we leave a window open because fresh air coming into the room helps dilute the contaminants, hence the lower risk of exposure for other people sitting around. In the simulation, experts manage to achieve four air exchanges per hour.

Yet the best scenario comes when there is an integration between natural airflow and mechanical systems (in this case the addition of a fan and an air cleaner). Instead of dispersing throughout the room, the contaminants focus only where the fan is blowing and are diluted everywhere else.

The simulation once again proves that it is not just about natural ventilation. The smarter, pandemic-proof solution should be an automated, integrated operation of high free air windows and the building management system (BMS). That change in standard and perception now receives more and more support from leading experts in Australia.

Experts call for changes to the National Construction Code (NCC)

In a recent interview with ABC News, Professor Geoff Hanmer from the University of Adelaide expressed his concern as “the way that we deal with naturally ventilated buildings. That’s most aged care facilities or schools. When people shut the windows because it’s cold outside, there’s no ventilation. And the level of ventilation reaches hazardous levels quite quickly.”

While significant improvements were introduced to the NCC 2019 in terms of glazing, ventilation, filtration, air changes per hour etc., there are strong calls for updated standards and requirements to tackle the spread of COVID-19 as well as for the overall health and wellbeing of building occupants. Many recommendations centre around window automation and building management systems, applicable for both new builds and retrofitting existing buildings, following Australia’s hard-earned lessons with hotel quarantine and outdated ventilation systems.

Joining the conversation, Professor Catherine Bennett at Deakin University also agrees upon the evidence of COVID-19 as an aerosol transmission and encoding safety regulations are “something we should move to, particularly for aged care, or for our quarantine centres…”

The changing ventilation standards in a variety of settings, she hopes, could be “a legacy of the global pandemic” towards a safer living environment.

Introducing the SmartAir System and Free Motor Initiative

Safetyline Jalousie are well-known for challenging and overcoming the design, security and safety limitations of conventional louvre windows. And meeting these new calls for better ventilation performance is no exception.

Joining hands with Blue Squared Window Automation, Safetyline Jalousie introduce the SmartAir System – a pre-programmable, fully automated, tried and tested complete turnkey air quality solution that enables all spaces to monitor temperature, CO2 and humidity.

This will inform, cue and operate motorised high performance louvre windows that have 86% free air coupled with superior sealing capabilities that block wind, water, air and noise.

With the SmartAir System, Safetyline Jalousie hope to play our part in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of kids and adults alike across Australia, particularly those that are considered to be more vulnerable during and post-COVID. We also believe that every project and space is entitled to the benefits of motorising and automating the monitoring and control of air quality.

With that in mind, and in conjunction with the SmartAir Proposal, Safetyline Jalousie would like to offer the opportunity to add our SmartAir louvre motors to any windows quote for:

  • Australian Education Projects
  • Australian Aged Care Projects
  • Australian Social Housing Projects

This includes all retrofitting existing projects along with both present and future builds. By offering motorised louvre windows at the same cost of manually operated windows we hope to alleviate any cost prohibiting factors that would influence the quality outcome of the project.

Should you need further consultation and technical advice on smarter, greener ventilation solutions like the SmartAir System, do not hesitate to contact Safetyline Jalousie team.

Source:

* All simulation image credits belong to The New York Times.
* Why Opening Windows Is A Key To Reopening Schools – The New York Times.
* Experts Call For Changes To Australian Ventilation Standards In Bid To Pandemic-Proof Buildings.

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Ali Asmar

Business Manager - VIC & SA

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As the most recent addition to the Safetyline Jalousie family, Ali is still coming to terms with the fact that a typical telephone conversation will often be answered with “You’re calling from Safety what”? followed by having to sound out and spell the name “ja-lou-sie” (it happens to us all). Born in Lebanon, Ali has moved around a lot over the years, living in Cyprus, Sydney for most of his Schooling, as well as China and Hong Kong. He currently resides in Melbourne where he spends a lot of time in his garden or doing some sort of work around the house. (Not too dissimilar to many other Melburnians following the onset of Covid). With a very obvious cultured background, Ali is warm and talkative and he’ll get you talking too.

Romile John

National Business Manager

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One of the Safetyine Jalousie originals, Rom (often mistaken for John) holds a great passion for the product. He says its “its innovative, a market leader and ever-evolving, very much like the company itself”. When you meet Rom, it is apparent that he is well-educated and well-travelled. Coming from a family of medical professionals, they moved around extensively and often. Last count was 125 countries. So nearly all of them! It’s really no surprise that Rom has mastered packing a weeks-worth of clothes and necessities into a carry-on bag. And when we say clothes we actually mean meticulously prepared outfits and accessories. When Rom enters a room, you’re sure to know it!

Adam Racomelara

National Manager – Partnerships & Strategy

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Adam is our strategist and big ideas generator whose somewhat reserved nature could have some mistake him as a bit of an introvert. But that’s only until this quiet thinker is given a whiteboard and a marker – and then there’s no stopping the dialogue! 7 Years in at Safetyline Jalousie, Adam is continually expanding on his knowledge of the construction industry and is incredibly driven in his pursuit to help create better buildings via the use of better products. When Adam’s not on his quest to improve Australia’s built environment he’s spending most weekends escorting one of his 4 young kids to birthday parties, sometimes multiple parties. He has some stealth survival tips for other parents currently in the same predicament.

Michael Cocks

Factory Manager

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Michael has become recognised at Safetyline Jalousie for his continually changing hairstyles (facial hair included). Buzz cut, undercut, dreadlocks, even a mullet. We’ve see it all. His current man bun could even be gone before we finish this sentence. Always up for a laugh, friends and colleagues love a chat with Michael, and his easy-going and approachable nature has earned him the respect of all staff. In fact, he even has a cohort of followers on the factory floor sporting his same hairstyles. Outside of work Michael has recently turned his attention to mountain bike riding. His very first ride ended with a pretty serious accident resulting in a deep puncture wound to his leg– it’s been a sore topic for his leg and his ego.

Jonathan Gueudinot

National Logistics & Production Manager

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Our South American Native, Jonathan is more simply and better known as “Chilli” (no need to try and guess his country of origin). After 16 years of military service, Chilli joined the Safetyline Jalousie team for what he describes as “a change of pace”. Although his average work day might look very different these days, there’s no doubt that Chilli’s previous experience has contributed in shaping a culture of commitment, community and comradery within the production team – the very important engine room of our company. Driven by a sense of accomplishment, in addition to running Safetyline Jalousie’s production line with military precision, Chilli has recently been studying hard to complete his Master’s Degree in Business and Logistics.

Mandy Saliba

Marketing Manager

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Mandy has been with Safetyline jalousie since day one so would technically be considered a geriatric in “Jalousie years”. Whilst her role has changed and evolved over her time with the business, one thing that hasn’t is the happy and fun, team culture that she says “continues to make each day at work a joy”. As a mum of two little ones, Mandy thrives on new challenges and a little bit of chaos. Although, as a self-proclaimed clean freak, she ensures that all forms of chaos are kept in a very neat and tidy manner. We’ve also observed that Mandy appears to have an inherent fear of colour and will almost only ever be seen in black or white (or sometimes grey if she is being really out there).

Lisa Spinks

Office Administration Manager

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As a busy mother of 4, Lisa is highly skilled in organising, delegating, and troubleshooting – the proficiencies which she also demonstrates in her daily management of the Safetyline Jalousie office. Lisa tells us that she lives by the saying “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger”. (No doubt she’s had to use this little piece or personal encouragement from time to time to deal with our infinite requests)! Always on the go, Lisa has a very active lifestyle and starts every day with a walk to the beach with her husband and two dogs. Of an evening she still has the energy to spare for star jumps and squats in her makeshift gym/ (our office) before heading home to her other full-time job as “mum”.

 

 

 

Nathan Rust

Founder & National Operations Director

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The younger brother of the co-founding sibling duo, “Nath” is the go-to for just about every technical, install, and manufacturing enquiry that comes via the business. Very early on, Nath’s product knowledge and problem-solving ability saw him organically take on the role of Operations, overseeing the design and management of Safetyline Jalousie’s behind-the-scenes work. When he’s off duty (and not answering a million questions), Nath enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 young kids. You’ll find him cheering on his son at weekend sports, enjoying the water somewhere along the Northern beaches and this lover of food is generally always planning his next big meal. Preferably a Lebanese banquet if anyone can suggest a restaurant he doesn’t frequent already.

Leigh Rust

Founder & Director

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Leigh aka “Wolfpack” is one-half of the driving force behind Safetyline Jalousie and comes with two decades of experience within the Australian manufacturing and construction industry. The multi-award-winning entrepreneur and father of three youngsters is a passionate advocate for supporting Australian-made goods and improving the built environment for future generations to come. Always up for a challenge, Leigh never sits still and is constantly pushing himself to test his physical and mental endurance. He’s given just about everything a go. From amateur MMA fights, triathlons, or personal development endeavours, Leigh stands by the motto, ‘I never lose, either I win or I learn’.

Sign up to receive access to our complete Design Manual & more

You’ll receieve access to our 52 page complete Design Manual that includes:
Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3

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Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3