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EESL, USAID launch initiative to make workplaces healthier, greener

Poor air quality has been a concern in India for quite some time and has become more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Last Updated: Jun 05, 2020, 03.58 PM IST
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As people return to their offices and public spaces, maintaining good indoor air quality is essential for occupant comfort, well-being, productivity and the overall public health.
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State-run EESL in partnership with US Agency for International Development's MAITREE program on Friday launched an initiative that will pioneer ways to make workplaces healthier and greener. Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREE) is aimed at accelerating the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency measures as a standard practice within buildings, and specifically focuses on cooling.

MAITREE is a part of the US-India bilateral Partnership between the Ministry of Power and USAID.

"On World Environment Day, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) in partnership with USAID MAITREE program, launched the 'Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings' initiative that will pioneer ways to make workplaces healthier and greener," a company statement said.

As part of this pilot initiative, the EESL has taken the leadership by being the first to implement this framework in its own offices.

"This initiative is addressing the challenges of retrofitting existing buildings and air conditioning systems so that they are both healthy and energy efficient," said Saurabh Kumar, EESL Managing Director.

Kumar further said, "we hope that this pilot will pave the way for other buildings to take appropriate steps to be healthy and energy efficient. As always, our work is for the public and for the benefit of everyone, and our partnership with USAID will help scale it up."

Poor air quality has been a concern in India for quite some time and has become more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As people return to their offices and public spaces, maintaining good indoor air quality is essential for occupant comfort, well-being, productivity and the overall public health.

Such retrofit measures, like increasing outside air and additional filtration in the air conditioning system, typically come at the cost of occupant comfort and increased energy use.

The EESL office pilot will address this problem by developing specifications for future use in other buildings throughout the country, as well as aid in evaluating the effectiveness and cost benefits of various technologies and their short and long-term impacts on air quality, comfort, and energy use.

"This pioneering effort, built in large part on our partnership, will address air quality and energy use concerns in buildings - directly improving comfort, health, productivity, and ultimately the quality of life of citizens in India and South Asia," Ramona El Hamzaoui, USAID Acting Mission Director to India, said.

Kumar and El Hamzaoui released a joint video message on Twitter explaining how the pilot will work and showcasing how EESL employees feel safer returning to the workplace.
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