The Brew’s workspace Protection Plan
Providing Covid-secure workspaces that keep members and visitors safe
We hope you and your family have been safe, but if your loved ones or friends have been affected by the pandemic, then please accept our thoughts in solidarity.
Lockdown was challenging as we’re not built to be at home 24/7 away from our social connections. So while it is heartening that we are making it through this pandemic, we understand some of the concerns people have with regards to adjusting to a new normal, particularly when it comes to being in the office.
That’s what this Protection Plan is there to do, to provide the reassurance that The Brew is a haven, one that provides welcoming Covid-secure workspaces with safety at their core.
Click the image on the right to read our Protection Plan ➡ ➡
How we helped our members during lockdown
During lockdown, we all faced an unprecedented, never experienced before crisis. We knew that we didn’t want to add to our members’ growing list of problems and concerns. We hope our role during that time was a positive one including sharing business advice, lobbying and signposting how members too could lobby (which many of them did and achieved success) and most of all, the relief we applied to help our members through what was a difficult and challenging time.
We have been touched by our members’ feedback and really appreciate that they have stuck with us and supported the ideas we have explored and have now implemented to keep them safe.
It has been fantastic to see their faces again.
Objectives of our workspace Protection Plan
The objective of the Protection Plan is to set out the measures that we have put in place to ensure our workspaces are Covid-secure.
As well as been guided by government advice, we have researched best practice from around the world and have consulted with a number of experts and organisations.
We also surveyed our members in May to sense check the ideas we were exploring so that we would be confident we were providing safe, welcoming and comfortable environments that didn’t impact on member experience. Central to this is maintaining the community and social aspect of what connects us all at The Brew. Many of our members noted that they enjoy our relaxed and social environment and that this was one of their reasons for being a member.
We are also looking at new ways to encourage serendipity and ‘watercooler moments’. So whilst we do not outline the specifics of our new social/community ideas in this Protection Plan, we are preparing it and will share details on our website soon.
Protection Plan overview
In creating this Protection Plan, we have sought the advice of a number of experts and organisations, which are referenced throughout the relevant sections. We have also conducted a vast amount of research into what measures would make for a safe environment.
Notable to this work was the focus on the measures that would be the most effective in protecting our workspaces rather than being just for show. We believe we have done that and have gone much further than the government’s guidelines in providing you with Covid-secure workspaces.
Our Protection Plan details the measures we have implemented including:
- Entrance temperature screening
- Provision of extra hand hygiene stations (soap and sanitiser)
- Enhanced ventilation measures
- Updated cleaning and disinfecting regime using specific products (e.g. EN 14776 standard disinfection) and techniques (introduction of Ultra-low volume (ULV) disinfection fogging) that reduce and kill this coronavirus
- PPE provision and face-covering policy
- Installation of air sterilisers in toilets and meeting rooms
- How we have dealt with touchpoints including installing hands-free door openers and anti-viral self-cleaning sheets
- Moving around the space, our policies on the workspaces (private office, open-plan and hotdesking) and communal areas
- Post and deliveries
- Member responsibilities
- Our monitoring and reporting policy
- And how our community team continues to help and support our members
How our ventilation provides a Covid-secure workspaces
We have always had to adhere to strict building control regulations with regards to ventilation and the management of air in the building. As such, the ventilation system that we have in place has a positive role in helping to minimise risk and reduce virus concentrations compared to ‘old style’ air circulation systems.
Our ventilation is a filtered air exchange system. It extracts the air from the building in exchange for supplying it with fresh, outside air.
The regulations require that the system does this at a rate 20 litres of air per second i.e. for every 20 litres of room air we extract and expel outside, we pump into the building 20 litres of fresh air.
Going beyond the regulations
We have carried out extensive research of the factors that will provide the biggest contribution to minimising risk, and the way in which buildings are ventilated is one of them.
As part of this research, we have consulted with The Building Engineering Services Association in the UK, and guidance from the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA) which has produced new protective measures for building operations. We have implemented these measures (outlined below) to enhance the way we operate our workspaces when it comes to ventilation.
Additionally, we have increased the air exchange rate to bring in fresh air at a faster rate.
Summary of the protective measures we have put into place:
- No air recirculation within our building
There has never been and there will continue to be no recirculation of air in our office spaces. We have always ensured that it is only fresh outdoor air that enters into our buildings.
- Increased ventilation throughout our spaces
We have increased the operation times of our ventilation systems so that they are now switched on at all times, even when the building is not occupied. This helps to remove any virus particles that may be present in the air and will also help to release any settled particles from surfaces. By supplying as much outside air as reasonably possible to our office spaces, we are able to keep the office environment well ventilated, 24/7.
- Humidification and air-conditioning will operate safely
With some hot summer days still with us in London, centrally controlled temperate and humidity levels within the office environment will continue to operate normally. REHVA has advised that adjusting these has no direct implications on the spread of Covid-19.
- Safe and secure use of heat recovery sections (Rotors)
REHVA has advised that the use of regenerative air-to-air heat exchangers called air rotors, need to be vigilantly checked to ensure air is not being leaked from the exhaust side into the fresh air supply. To prevent this, we have ensured that our rotary heat exchangers are properly constructed, installed and maintained. By doing so, we can ensure almost zero transfer of particle-bound pollutants (virus particles) into the office environment. Should a leak be suspected in our heat recovery sections, we are well informed to make the necessary repairs whilst keeping the internal atmosphere as safe and as healthy as possible.
- No over-reliance on ventilation duct cleaning
Although rigorous cleaning is being conducted throughout the office spaces, we have been made aware that no changes are needed to the cleaning schedule of ventilation ducts. This is because virus particles will only pass through the ducts, rather than attaching to the inside. This means much more importance is on the increase in fresh air supply reaching the ducts, as per the recommendations above.
- Modern outdoor air filters are in use and replaced frequently
Modern ventilation systems (air handling units) such as the ones used by The Brew are well equipped to prevent virus particles that in rare cases may be circulating in the outside atmosphere. Filters will continue to be cleaned and replaced frequently, and we have been assured that clogged filters are not a contamination source, although they do reduce airflow supply, which would, in turn, have a negative effect on the contamination levels indoors.
- Specific safety advise for toilets
As mentioned above, our ventilation systems are operational 24/7, and this includes within the toilets on site. We have advised members that when using the toilets, they flush with the toilet lids closed to minimise the release of droplets into the air. We also have ensured that all water seals on the seats work and are fully secure.
Air sterilisation as part of our disinfectant strategy
At The Brew, we have installed air sterilisers for use in the toilets and meeting rooms to remove odour, virus, bacteria, mould, fungi and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
When these Micro-organisms are deposited on surfaces from the air, they continue to grow. Standard cleaning and disinfecting routines can only provide a temporary solution as surfaces begin to be recontaminated from the air once the cleaning has finished.
The Air sterilisers work by providing 24/7 cleaning supporting using multi-factor technology to purify the air and release it back (sanitised) into the internal atmosphere. The process is effective in killing up to 98.11% of bacteria and viruses present in the air and on surfaces, making it ideal for use in shared spaces.
How it works
The air sterilisers in operation use a unique combination of five technologies to control harmful bacteria and viruses both in the air and on all exposed surfaces, they are also effective in eliminating any unpleasant washroom odours.
Germicidal Irradiation by dual UV light (Ultraviolet) kills microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and mould) by disrupting their DNA and removing their reproductive capabilities.
PCO (Photocatalytic Oxidation) – UV reacts with the Catalyst (Ti02) to form highly reactive but short-lived oxidising Hydroxyl Radicals (OH) which break down Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). This interaction creates and breaks down Oxygen molecules transforming them into a highly reactive states of Ozone and Superoxide Ions which leave the unit as “Plasma Quatro”.
The negatively charged Superoxide Ions charge airborne contaminants causing them to cluster together and fall from the air as they become too heavy, aiding all other cleaning processes. This can remove airborne particulates down to 0.0001 micron.
Targeted Ozone produced via the specialist lamp gets the hardest to reach areas breaking down contamination in the air and on exposed surfaces. Ozone damages the cell wall of microorganisms stopping reproduction and destroying the cell.
Only low levels of ozone are produced, which are in line with European standards making the unit safe and unharmful to be in operation around people. The design ensures that no UV light can escape from any angle. Unlike other ventilation systems, there are no filters that need to be changed in air sterilisers. Using low energy the machine has no fan, meaning it is silent when in use, presenting no disruption to members using meeting rooms across our sites.
Cleaning and disinfecting with products independently tested for their efficacy against the virus responsible for COVID-19
The EN 14476 testing standard is the British Standards Institute (BSI) approved standard for verifying the effectiveness of anti-virus sanitation products.
The BSI is part of the UK’s National Standards Body (NSB) that works across many industries, businesses, governments and consumers to develop British, European and international standards. These standards are developed by a dedicated panel of experts, within a range of technical committees. Each standard undergoes various stages of development before it is approved. This begins with a proposal stage, which aims at affirming the market need for a standard, then to a panel of experts in the specific field who are tasked with drafting the standard, before arriving at public consultation.
It is this same process that has led to the development of the EN 14476 as a standard of testing in relation to preventing the spread of the virus responsible for COVID-19. EN 14476 is used to qualify the effectiveness of chemical disinfectants and antiseptics used in medical practice. Products such as hygienic hand wash, instrument disinfectant, surface and textile disinfectant must all have a concentration of 80% or above, before they can be submitted for this standard of testing.
For products to be deemed effective in preventing the spread of the virus responsible for COVID-19, they will need to be approved by the EN 14776 testing standard. All of the cleaning, disinfectant and hand sanitation products used at The Brew have been tested and approved to EN 14476 standard.