Active pandamic management in EFiS AG

Corona is not the first pandemic that we have to face in our company’s history. In particular, the years 2003/2004 and 2009 were shaped by the bird and swine flu. As a preventive measure, we expanded the former locations to include an additional one in Zella (Rhön). The fully featured and sufficient alternative workplaces were supplemented by a geo-redundant data centre, and the associated hotel rounds off the usability as a completely self-sufficient location.

As a system-relevant company, there is currently only a limited option to transfer all employees and activities to workplaces at home. In addition to the AHA rules (distance/hygiene/face mask) that must be strictly observed in the company, the Corona app can be used voluntarily. For the supplementary L rule (ventilation) we have developed technical support for our company to ensure compliance.

Based on the bachelor thesis “Construction of a radio sensor system for measuring and evaluating indoor air” by a former student and current employee, we jointly approached the development of CO2 sensors. In our offices, these sensors measure the carbon dioxide,

which comes from the exhaled air of the people in the respective room.

As the Umwelt [Environmental] Campus Birkenfeld published in December 2020, CO2 measurement offers a cost-effective solution for classifying the current risk from potentially infectious aerosols. If we are in the same room with several people, the measurement of the CO2 concentration provides a measure of the percentage of the air we inhale that consists of air that we have already breathed. A risk factor is certainly the number of other people in the same room, the local pandemic activity and the air flow. Overall, of course, the following applies: If none of the people in the room are infected, there is no risk of infection even at high concentrations.

Since the installation of the CO2 sensors, they have been accepted by the employees. Reading the CO2 concentration several times a day is usually embedded in a small betting round about the current CO2 value. In addition to this positive effect on team spirit, we also noticed a lasting effect on heating costs. No longer ventilating according to fixed times as used in the past or even working with the window completely open and the heating switched on, but ventilating as required based on the CO2 value has led to a reduction in heating costs and thus also to climate protection.

Authors: Alexander Ochs, Helmut Kredel