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Steps to improve indoor air quality.

Dubai: Government entities are currently working together to improve indoor air quality and expect to regulate central air conditioners and split units as part of its initiative.

"We have analysed the status of 11 topics related to the field of environment and safety, and they include outdoor and indoor air quality, food safety, pest control and the quality of drinking water," said Eng. Salem Bin Mesmar, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for Health, Safety and Environment Control Sector.

Senior officials at Dubai Municipality held a two-day workshop yesterday with various other government bodies from Dubai and other emirates, to propose ways on how to improve the 11 topics that are up for discussion.

"Now we are at the stage of presenting ideas and how to overcome the challenges. By the end of October a steering committee will be set up to handle and present these issues to the Executive Council in Dubai," Bin Mesmar told Gulf News.

Improving indoor air quality has constantly been a focus for authorities, who intend to make the Green Building Code compulsory for all new buildings, private and public, in 2014.

"The air quality indoors is about 90 per cent good but there are a number of factors that negatively affect it, such as the design of the building but there are a lot of issues concerned, like the practice of tenants and their furniture, lack of ventilation, smoking, and cooking," said Redha Salman, director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality.

The municipality has three inspectors responsible for following up complaints of tenants, and they also handle indoor air quality in shopping centres, hotels and government buildings.

"The problems are commonly caused when tenants do not operate the ventilation systems properly and change their air ducts, carry out their own maintenance, or have overcrowding in the rooms. When we have a bigger team, then we can cover more sites," said Salman.

The Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (Esma) was also involved in yesterday's discussion, as they intend to introduce new regulations to standardise central air conditioning and split units.

"We have different committees looking at green buildings that look into general building materials, and enforce standards and regulations, such as with the paint, carpets and wood used," explained Mohammad Al Mulla, director of Metrology Department at Esma.

"Air conditioners are of concern and we have already enforced regulations with window air conditioners, and our next phase is to extend our regulations to central air conditioners and split units," said Al Mulla.

He pointed out that all air conditioners will have a star rating system and emit low carbon emissions, as almost 70 per cent of power used in residential homes is used by air conditioners.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 1, 2013
Words:470
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