In 2017, a pilot in the Walburggarage (Weert) confirmed that the two installed air purification systems effectively clean the air in the garage. Research by Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) showed a reduction in particulate matter concentration of 50-60% inside the garage and 40-50% in the immediate surroundings. Due to the positive results, the municipality of Weert decided to also install air purification systems in their other five garages. Together with Monique Bessems (then project manager with parking portfolio), Mark Fonteijn (parking manager) and Jurjen Feld (parking director) from the municipality of Weert, we look back on the project and what added value the installations have brought to Weert.
The municipality of Weert considers sustainability to be very important, especially air quality. Weert is located in an area with a lot of agricultural activity, resulting in high particulate matter concentrations. In addition, there is quite heavy traffic in the city center, which is why the municipality considered it to be important to take action. “At that time, the municipality was busy renovating the parking garages. The garages were repainted, provided with smart lighting and the installation of air purification systems was a perfect match for sustainability. For this total package we were also able to receive a subsidy from the province. I see it as something you do for your citizens, because you want people to be able to stay healthy in a city” says Monique.
“The pilot has started in the Walburggarage, which is located in the middle of a residential area. The extraction from that garage also ends up directly in that area. We thought this was the perfect place to measure the air quality . This research confirmed the successful pilot, therefor we have asked the province for subsidy. The province then became very enthusiastic. As a result, it was decided to also tackle the other five garages in less than one year. The province has been looking over our shoulder” says Monique.
What effects are noticeable by installing the air purification systems?
Mark regularly receives feedback from visitors. “I immediately hear from people who have a parking-subscription in the garage when the machines are off”. Jurjen confirmed: “They immediately notice that there is more pollution on their car windows. But we also see it when we harvest the bags of captured dust ”. In addition, thanks to the systems, savings can also be made on general maintenance costs. Mark says: “In one of the garages, the outgoing air is treated by a filter system that normally has to be cleaned twice a year. After installing the ENS air purification systems, we noticed that the filter system only needs to be cleaned once a year. It is also possible to postpone a paint job for one or two years, this is partly due to the particulate matter reductions ”.
Monique: “At the Walburggarage we were told by local residents that they noticed the difference. They had their balconies at the entrance and exit of the garage, and noticed that there was less dirt on the garden furniture, window sills and windows. In addition, a colleague at the time commented that her car was cleaner. She walked to work and her car was all the time in the garage. Not only the measurement result was important to us, but also the actual experience of people in the neighborhood ”.
Jurjen: “The Municipality of Weert has always been focused on the street experience. You can see from a spatial policy that public space is increasingly under pressure. Municipalities want more green areas and less street parking. Therefore we encourage underground parking in the garages. Clean air in the garages certainly contributes to this”.
“By striving for optimal occupancy in the garages, the image quality and liveability of the public space improves. In addition, the cars are concentrated in one place where air is efficiently cleaned. And finally, you offer the residents of Weert a safe and clean parking solution. In winter you don’t have to scratch the ice and in summer your car is protected from the sun”. According to Monique, this has been a genius move, especially in combination with the current air quality situation
Mark: “The installation went very well. The ENS team thought along with us about where the systems should be positioned and did not leave it to us alone ”. Jurjen adds “Maintenance has always been very good. You always service according to the schedule and I never have to ask you to come by for maintenance”. Mark adds: “That’s right, we always receive an e-mail in advance or – when it is not convenient – a message stating that it has been moved with a new date. Even if there is something wrong, you check in on the systems over the phone and otherwise you’ll be there within two days with an explanation of what is going on ”. Monique adds: “Therefore we are satisfied with the follow-up of the service”.
Would you like to know more about the application of air purification in parking garages or other urban solutions? Feel free to contact us.