February 4, 2009 3:02:49 am
A 2005 study had warned the authorities about low oxygen level in C C Mehta auditorium
Even as the mishap at the Chandravadan C Mehta Auditorium in M S University is now being investigated,a major lapse on the part of the concerned authorities has surfaced.
In 2005,students and a reader of the Faculty of Technology and Engineering had categorically said after a detailed scientific study that based on the case study,it is evident that in almost all the locations including C C Mehta Auditorium,the concept of indoor air quality has been completely overlooked,while more stress is given on thermal comfort.
The study had further contended that the temptation to reduce outside air quantity could be great,as that would bring down the costs. Unscrupulous elements can take advantage of it to maintain comfortable temperatures with inadequate ventilation,without the knowledge of the owner.
Tuesdays incident has exposed that those managing the auditorium did not take note of the large number of students nor did they bother to check the rising level of CO2 (carbon dioxide).
Earlier in 2005,a detailed report had been published in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Journal,The Magazine of The Indian Society of Heating,Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
A case study done by M M Chauhan and Jaiprakash Bholanda both masters students of mechanical engineering at the Faculty of Technology and Engineering under the guidance of reader A K Mangalani,clearly showed the importance of fresh air to maintain the desired indoor carbon dioxide level with respect to time.
As per details mentioned in the paper,the indoor carbon dioxide level should not exceed 1,000 ppm and indoor to outdoor differential concentration should not be greater than about 700 ppm,which was not observed in C C Mehta Auditorium and such other venues.
Average maximum carbon dioxide level and the differential concentration found in all cases were too high due to insufficient fresh air,2.5 to 7.6 cfm/person,as compared to the prescribed ventilation standard 62 as 15 cfm/person.
This phenomenon is common at every air-conditioned hall including C C Mehta auditorium. A layman would be happy at the fact that he is sitting in a colder atmosphere than outside. But the fact remains that the quantity of fresh air is never maintained because it would result in high maintenance costs. There were some recommendations in the paper but to follow them is up to the university authorities, Mangalani told Newsline.
He has now retired from M S University.
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