Written answers

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Departmental Properties

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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36. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps he has taken to improve ventilation in the office buildings of his Department; if air cleaning and or purification systems have been installed in 2021; and if not, the plans to install same in 2022. [59726/21]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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My Department continues to implement measures to improve ventilation across its office buildings. The measures to improve the natural ventilation of buildings include the opening of windows, a reduced onsite workforce facilitated through working from home and the revision of the maximum occupational capacity of offices to ensure a safe physical distancing of staff. Additionally, all forms of desk fans and portable fan operated heating devices have been removed to maximise the quality of the air ventilation.

In relation to mechanically operated ventilation systems, where relevant, the Office of Public Works (OPW) have conducted an examination of the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning System (HVAC) and Air Handling Units (AHU). The OPW has confirmed that ventilation systems in all OPW occupied premises used by my Department remit are in compliance with current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

My Department has not installed additional air cleaning or purification systems and does not envisage the installation of additional systems, unless otherwise advised by the OPW.

With the exception of mechanically operated ventilation systems, this information also applies to the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) which are both part of my Department and located in Spencer Dock in Dublin. I have been informed that these systems are maintained on a six monthly interval and set on full fresh air as recommended by the OPW and in compliance with the current WHO guidelines. The system in the OGP's Cork Office has been recently surveyed by the OPW and improvement works are due to commence shortly.


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