Director at Kelcroft, focused on energy efficient M&E services, energy including energy auditing and sustainability consulting for Asia. He is an EMSD Registered Energy Assessor (EA00496G) Fellow of the Charted Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers, and a BEAM Professional.
We spend many hours indoors every day, and during the covid19 pandemic many people are forced to work from home.
If you or your family are suffering from persistent illness, symptoms might include headaches, fatigue, allergy, asthma, diarrhoea, or flu like symptoms, your home could be unhealthy causing sickness. Kids are still growing, and can be particularly susceptible to different types of illness during their development.
If you want to discuss your unhealthy building, call John Herbert 2335 9830 today!
Damp, pollution, faulty drains, faulty ventilation, and water seepage are just of some of the reasons causing an unhealthy home, persistent illness in your family indicates you could have a problem. Do you regularly see your neighbour in the local GP’s surgery or in the hospital, that could indicate both families are living in a sick, unhealthy building.
In Hong Kong, medical professionals are reporting that patients appear to be ignoring symptoms and illness, and do not seek medical attention early enough! Don’t delay already seek doctors advice immediately.
Realise, in high rise buildings suction pressure inside the drainage stack will continuously pull the traps (that means suck the water of the U traps leaving an empty and open U trap) if no vent pipe is provided, and creating COVID19 path into your home. The vent pipe is designed to prevent suction pressure (negative pressure) inside the drainage stack.
Filling each U trap once a week is not going to help if the stack in your building does not have a vent pipe (sometimes called balanced pipe) to relieve the pressure and prevent suction pulling the traps.
You don’t know what you don’t know, so go ask somebody who does :)
A residential building called Kwai Tung House in the Tung Tau Estate, Nga Tsin Wai is reported to have nine cases in six different units, where most of the patients come from flat number 15 (on different floors). CHP said maybe a structural problem (meaning drainage system) Dr Yuen will investigate.
UPDATE 11 December 2020
Environmental samples were taken from Block 6 apartments, COVID19 positive results were discovered on the piping, floor drains, and exhaust fans
Logically, it appears that COVID19 entered through the floor drain trap into the space (bathroom?) exposing the residents to the COVID19 virus.
The positive results discovered on the exhaust fans is a new development. Perhaps the exhaust fan handling contaminated air with suspended droplets itself becomes contaminated, and potentially discharges contaminated air. And when the extract fan is switched off, its a contaminated surface, risking touch/contact transmission. Safety precautions are needed for handling and cleaning exhaust fans.
Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan (11-12-2020) mentioned in passing that earlier investigations also found COVID19 in the fan system, although I don’t recall any announcement.
#exhaustfan #ventilation #HVAC
10 December 2020
Richland Gardens is a residential housing estate located in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong comprising 22 high rise tower blocks, a small outdoor public transport interchange, and a medium sized shopping centre.
RTHK and SCMP have reported seven covid19 cases so far, located on different floors of the same tower, all in Block 6, and all residing in flat D. In addition, one case was reported in Block 4, and one case in Block 18.
CHP requires all residents in Richland Gardens Block 6, all floors, flat D, and Block 18, all floors , Flat E, must be tested, to me that indicates potentially more cases in Block 18 will emerge in the next few days.
After the horse has bolted, experts turned up to visit the Block 6 with microbiologist Dr Yuen, after the inspection Dr Yuen stated the drainage could be the source, because all the cases were in flat D, on different floors, but not every U trap could be seen (no access?)
RTHK managed to interview several Block 6 residents, who stated that the Block 6 drainage system was leaking!
Strange that BD, EPD or Dr Yuen didn’t mention leakage that in their post-inspection press conference. Dr Yuen did suggest pointed out that all residents in Block 6 should be quarantined, but the quarantine accommodation is already full, another no room at the inn story ✨✨✨
From bitter experience (e.g. SARS 2003) and other buildings, we know that sub-standard drainage systems can spread disease in the same high rise building, for Richland Gardens the early evidence tends to indicate that the cause is probably the poorly maintained drainage system (again). Has nobody heard that Prevention is better than the cure!
As shown in previously posted photos, it is easy to find located drainage systems that have not been properly maintained, but we have to wait for the next batch of people to be hospitalised before BD, EPD and HA pay a site visit.
Fingers crossed this cluster does not expand across the other 22 tower blocks in the estate.
The Environment Bureau reported the GHG emission for 2018 was 40,600 ktCO2e, so the climate plan page 6, setting a carbon reduction target to lower GHG emissions by 20% by 2020 (based on 2005 base) but only a 7.3% reduction has been achieved so far.
That means GHG emissions should be reduced to hit 8,240 ktCO2e reduction goal before 2020, so that leaves only 92% reduction over the next two years to achieve the goal, as shown in the chart above.
The above brief video clip shows hot steam exhaust near a bottle type cooling tower, that is a problem, heating up the cooling tower risks Legionella growth in the cooling tower and an explosive Legionella outbreak.
EMSD requires an independent auditor to inspect the cooling tower system every year.
Achieving carbon neutrality, also known as net zero will be more expensive for some organisations than others. Steam is a fantastic medium, if the steam system is properly designed, installed and maintained. This is a short video clip showing the failed steam system condensate trap I discovered, wasting energy and water, making the steam boilers work harder.
To improve safety, airlines created a suite of simple check and response lists for the flight crew to follow. While studying mortality in the healthcare sector, they stole that idea, and introduced a check and response list in the operating theatres in eight major hospitals. Yes, the staff hated it, but the result, reducing post surgery mortality by 40%, was an amazing outcome.
The construction sector should learn that lesson, adding a check and response list for site safety issues, will undoubtedly save lives.