Clean Spaces, Why It Matters for Better Living

From the Netherlands comes an important message: having a clean and comfortable place to live or work can make our lives better.

A group in the Netherlands is hosting a special meeting about this topic. They will talk about why clean places are so important at the Hygiene Gathering on May 17 in Amsterdam.

Every two years since 2015, this group has held a big meeting about keeping places clean. They plan this meeting with the help of two other groups that also care about cleaning. This year, they are focusing on the idea that a good workspace starts with keeping it really clean. A smart professor named Dr. Philomena Bluyssen will talk at the meeting. She has studied clean and comfortable places for over 20 years.

Dr. Bluyssen says things like light, sound, fresh air, and temperature are important for making a place feel good. Such things can make workers happy and help them do their jobs better. But if these things are not good, it can make people stressed. Imagine working in a place with too much noise or bad smells, versus a quiet place with lots of sunlight.

But just avoiding bad things isn’t enough. Dr. Bluyssen also talks about making places not only healthy but also cozy and nice.

In recent studies, they found that when places are clean, people do their jobs better. A study in 2016 by a student named Mirte Horrevorts showed that very clean places help businesses work better.

Cleanliness doesn't just help people work better, but it also makes them happier. And when there's less dirt around, people are happier and work better. But there's something more to consider: using the right cleaning materials is crucial because getting things clean also requires the use of cleaning products. Using the wrong chemicals to clean can make the air quality worse, which is not good for health.

This important message about clean and safe places is being shared by building owners, designers, and cleaners. They are all working together to make indoor places better.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Philomena M. Bluyssen graduated as a civil engineer from TU/e in 1986, after which she obtained her doctorate from the Technical University of Denmark in 1990. Before accepting the Chair of Indoor Environment at the TU Delft in the Faculty of Architecture in 2012, she worked for over twenty years at TNO where she coordinated, among other things, European projects in the field of indoor environment and energy use optimization. At TU Delft, Bluyssen founded the SenseLab, where research into air transmission contributed to the 'ventilation' icon in the summer of 2021. Bluyssen is a fellow of ISIAQ (International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate), a member of the Steering Committee of IAQS (Indoor Air Quality Society), and co-founder and first president of the Dutch ISIAQ. Since 2019, Bluyssen has been a Visiting Professor at Feng Chia University in Taichung, Taiwan. She has contributed to more than 300 publications and is frequently invited to give lectures at conferences, universities, and companies. For "The Indoor Environment Handbook: How to make buildings healthy and comfortable," she received the "Choice Outstanding Academic Titles of 2010 Award". And for her book "The Healthy Indoor Environment – How to assess occupants' well-being in buildings", she received the IDEC 2016 Book Award.

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