Capital’s deputy mayor for environment has urged building service providers to support consultation on realising the city’s clean air and sustainability ambitions
London’s deputy mayor for environment and energy Shirley Rodrigues has appealed to building service specialists to support the capital’s efforts to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) as part of a broader consultation on its zero carbon strategy.
Ms Rodrigues has said that air quality standards will be a priority consideration as part of discussions to finalise a future environmental strategy for London that will impact future planning laws.
With the consultation period to receive feedback on the capital’s draft environment strategy open until November 14, ventilation systems suppliers and other stakeholders involved in handling indoor air quality are being asked to provide evidence.
Ms Rodrigues, who was speaking during BESA’s National conference earlier this month, said that indoor air quality was a relatively new area of focus for the London Mayor’s Office, requiring greater industry insight.
“We also need to make sure that people are provided with better evidence about the risks posed by poor IAQ,” she said.
“We are aware that air brought into buildings through their ventilation systems can contribute to health problems and we will use the planning system to make sure this is taken into account by everyone involved in building projects, including architects.”
Vulnerable building occupants such as school children were put forward as a major reason of concern around the issue of air quality. Recent research published by the Mayor of London’s Office found that the majority of individuals in the capital live in an area exceeding World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for the presence of dangerous toxic particles in the air.
The claims were based on the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory data.
Ms Rodrigues told conference delegates that children exposed to levels of fine particulate matter (PM) of solid or liquid particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter above WHO limits had a higher risk of developing reduced lung function.
She also used her speech during the conference to outline expectations for how London hoped to partly meet aims to become a carbon neutral city by 2050 through new buildings standards concerning heating and emissions.
Mr Rodrigues argued at the time that the strategy could pave the way for similar strategies in other UK cities. She argued this reflected a need for national dialogue to change thinking about how buildings are designed and function.