Indoor Clean Air Start-up’s Growth Zooms

By Abhinav Gupta, CEO and co-founder at ActiveBuildings

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In Indian cities and towns indoor air pollution is a big issue but everyone seems to focus largely on outdoor air quality. This is a big opportunity for start-ups.

Keeping indoor air healthy and clean is not just achievable but also imperative considering the amount of time a person spends in their homes or workspaces. As per studies, indoor air quality can be 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air quality because of cooking, tobacco smoking, pet dander, built-up of carbon dioxide, use of aerosol products for cleaning, and more.

ActiveBuildings initially started out providing services to B2B customers but realized that there is a need to raise awareness among households on the importance of understanding indoor air. From a revenue of Rs. 1 crore in the financial year 2020 – 2021, the firm clocked Rs. 6 crores the following year.

With presence in UK and collaboration with Vitalik Buterin, ActiveBuildings is looking at 4-6x growth soon.

ActiveBuildings has also made efforts to help communities in achieving its air quality goals and spreading awareness of its importance. The company recently partnered with Vitalik Buterin’s Balvi foundation to make clean air accessible to people in vulnerable indoor spaces.

The Balvi Fund offers

  • To deploy 5000 Indoor Air Quality monitors measuring CO2, where the devices will be connected to a cloud server and dashboard to show data in real-time.
  • In 1500 of these devices, ActiveBuildings will also add PM2.5 as a parameter for monitoring particle pollution and aerosol pollution as it is the most lethal air pollutant for human health.
  • Deploy another 10,000 low-cost air cleaners, inspired by Corsi Rosenthal* boxes, across the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka at critical locations of public importance.
  • This contract to deploy air purifiers and Indoor Air Quality monitors and gather data is the largest such project ever undertaken in any low-medium income country, and it will serve up to 1 million Indians
  • The deployment will focus on government hospitals and government schools that typically do not have the budget to spend on clean air.

Since there is no one-fit-all – solution to air quality issues, it is always advisable to get an Indoor Air Quality Evaluation done through air monitoring sensors before applying any fix. After an Air Quality Evaluation and a proper understanding of the problem, different solutions and technologies can be used to combat the problem.

Adequate ventilation

One of the most important ways to reduce indoor air pollution is to ensure ventilation. Proper ventilation helps replace polluted indoor air with fresh, clean air from outside. Air pollutants can accumulate at dangerous levels if indoor spaces are not adequately ventilated. This is a particular problem in homes that are hermetically sealed to conserve energy.

Use HEPA filters

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can reduce indoor air pollution by removing pollutants such as mold spores, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. In fact, HEPA filters remove 99.97% of airborne particles – 0.3 microns or larger – from the air that passes through them. Filters can be used in a variety of ways, including in vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and heating and air-conditioning systems.

Use eco-friendly cleaning products

Many conventional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that pollute indoor air. To avoid this, choose eco-friendly cleaning products made with natural ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, borax, citrus fruits, and essential oils. These are safe for indoor use and effective at cleaning surfaces and removing dirt, dust, and grime.

Indoor air quality has been the focus of organisations like ActiveBuildings which started with providing services to B2B customers but realized the need to raise awareness among households and public spaces about the importance of understanding indoor air.

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