At St Mary Axe we wanted to trial clean construction best practice, which initially involved having a baseline of the outdoor and indoor air quality on site and understanding who in the workforce was at the highest risk of air quality related issues.
To do this we used the local London network air monitor (300m from site) as a proxy monitor for the road outside.
We then plotted the mean annual average levels of NO2, PM 10, and PM 2.5 per hour in 2016. The levels were compared to the WHO mean annual recommended ‘healthy’ levels.
The site also set up a foobot in the construction staff offices to monitor indoor levels of VOCs, PM 10 and CO2, which were also compared to recommend indoor air quality levels (Global pollution Index).
The results showed that outdoor air quality consistently breaches WHO recommended limits for mean annual levels between 8-9am and the highest risk individuals are traffic marshals on the road all day. The indoor air quality monitor showed the air quality to be ‘good’ 90% of the time and ‘bad’ 10% of the time.
Therefore, on-site we gave air quality masks as part of the traffic marshals’ PPE and educated them on the risks associated with poor air quality.
The marshals were to wear the masks between 8-9am. The site also looked at reducing or limiting delivery times outside of 8-9am.
We also looked at offsetting the air exposure by providing clean air areas for operatives when not on-duty. This was achieved through air filters/cleaning units in welfare areas.