Normec Kalsbeek: Summer heat on buildings: what are the consequences?

Now that the sun has been shining more in recent weeks, the environment we live in is warming up. This not only affects ourselves and the vegetation around us, other organisms also react to it. It is well known that certain viruses are less present in spring and summer, but bacteria react positively to a comfortable temperature. They thrive best at a temperature of 25°C-35°C.

The downsides

Even inside buildings the temperature can rise considerably when the sun is shining. Everyone has been in a public building with a glass facade. In fact, this is much like a greenhouse. The heat, in the form of sun’s rays, enters the building and thanks to increasingly better insulation the heat stays inside. However, the sun is not the only factor. Certain pieces of equipment, such as server cabinets and pipework, can also radiate heat. When it comes to heating costs, this is can be positive. However, more heat in buildings also has certain downsides.

Bacterial outgrowth and an unhealthy working environment

As a building owner you have a duty of care towards the users. This means that you must facilitate good quality drinking water and a pleasant working environment. As mentioned earlier, the chance of bacterial growth is increasing at higher temperatures. When these bacteria are located in drinking water, they can cause health problems. A legionella infection is then around the corner. Besides the increasing of bacterial growth, there is also a greater chance of an unhealthy working environment.

Management and maintenance are important

Yet the solution is quite simple. With adequate management, these risks can remain within acceptable norms. Consider, for example, a weekly refreshing of drinking water, but also monitoring the temperature of the drinking water. In addition, equipment maintenance is essential. A boiler that does not function properly will have to heat up more. This will heat up the area around the boiler and the pipework components as well. This can have adverse health effects, but is also bad in terms of sustainability.

Identify the risks

The first step towards adequate management is to identify the risks. With a risk analysis from Normec Kalsbeek, the problem areas become clear and it will be possible to draft a targeted management plan. Overall, it’s important to be ahead of the heat and to take measures that limit the risks. After all, nothing is more frustrating than running behind the facts.