Graeme Rees, President of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA), believes the Covid-induced lockdowns, plus this summer’s extraordinary heatwave, have underlined the increasing value of smart buildings in terms of occupants’ comfort and environmental sustainability.
Apparently, we in Ireland (and the UK) have something of a reputation for talking about the weather. During the seasons which most often produce our most “extreme” weather – summer and winter – the same discussions surface about whether we should travel to work, how our transport systems will fare in the hot/cold temperatures, and advice on how to stay safe.
We grumble for 10 months about the lack of regular sunshine and then react with alarm at the first sign of a heatwave. Of course the warm weather is a lot easier to enjoy when you are not at work and, if you are lucky enough to be by the sea or have a swimming pool nearby, or have an air-conditioned home to cool off in, then even better.
A need for greater focus
However, as the sun begins to set (excuse the pun) on one of the hottest summers ever recorded in Ireland, it highlights the need for even greater focus on the suitability of our commercial buildings.
When temperatures hit record highs in mid-July, commuters were advised not to travel, warnings were issued about the state of road surfaces affecting drivers, and businesses asked some employees to work from home, where possible, to make conditions more bearable in their workspaces.
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