30 June 2022 A new air-conditioning system in FAO RAP ensures health and environmental protection

The staff at FAO RAP´s regional office must contend with an exceedingly hot and humid climate in their Bangkok facility, requiring air conditioning to lessen the impact on employees. In 2020/2021, and following the COVID 19 pandemic crisis, the office realized the importance of replacing their system, as the old central air conditioning unit was outdated and was not ensuring sufficient filtering of particulate matter and ambient pollution. It was additionally both energy inefficient and utilized environmentally harmful refrigerants, including R-22.

This renovation was funded with the support of the FAO Capital Expenditure Facility and supported by the Infrastructure Service (CSLI) of the Logistics Services Division from headquarters. The new air conditioning system now utilizes a modern R410A refrigerant, designed to help reduce GHG emissions and environmental impact. Moreover, by increasing the fresh airflow rate, aided by antimicrobial HEPA filters and air circulation aides, this will improve air quality health and safety during and after the pandemic.

 

“The daily progress of the central AC and the upgrade of the electrical system became a part of my life in 2021, not only about the work itself but about the challenges related to Covid 19 pandemic and the implementation of measures to prevent infection cluster among the workers. I was lucky to have cooperation from colleagues and I owe the success of this project to the hard work and dedication of my office maintenance support team”

Phavinee Tithipan – Administrative and Logistics Support Officer, FAO RAP

Collaboration was key during the renovation of the air-conditioning system. A working group comprised of both staff representatives and users was formed to oversee the whole project. It is this spirit of teamwork and participation that forms the foundations of the sustainability measures in FAO RAP’s Bangkok office, and that will be crucial for meeting FAO’s sustainability targets at the entity level.

“A Working Group (WG) was formed to oversee the entire process of the AC renovation work to ensure value for money, funded by the FAO Capital Expenditure Facility.  Notably the composition of this WG was important, consisting of the Staff Representatives as well as users”.

Kazumi Ikeda-Larhed – Chief Administrative Service Officer, FAO RAP

By carefully controlling and limiting the times that the central AC is active, and the temperatures to which it is set, the office further increases energy efficiency, and lowers the environmental impact of the new system. The central AC is set at 24-25 degrees Celsius and is set to be turned on from 7.00 – 16.00hrs on weekdays, for sustainability purposes and to not overburden the power supply.

All these measures go towards the attainment of the goals set out in FAO’s Corporate Environmental Responsibility Strategy 2020-2030.

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