DustScanAQ is an independent air quality consultancy that specializes in dust monitoring and assessment.
The company was established in 2004 and was a spin-off from the University of Leeds in the UK, where the first DustScan monitor was developed. That first product utilized mounting sticky fly paper on a north-aligned cylinder, and then a pole that could be positioned around sites to gauge fugitive dust emissions from, for example, a minerals site such as a quarry or a mine and less obvious sources.
Two decades later their products and services have evolved along with the growing demand for environmental sustainability measures. DustScanAQ today works with its clients to reduce their environmental and health impact by providing innovative and customized dust and air-quality solutions.
The monitoring data platform currently displays air quality levels—specifically fine particulate matter—in real time. Concentration levels can be set for email and text alerts.
However, site owners, regulators, and other stakeholders have no idea if these alerts are actioned. There is no accountability, meaning that there is a risk that pollution “events,” such as a significant dust release or elevated emissions from faulty plant machinery, are not suitably investigated and mitigated.
This could increase exposure risks to onsite staff, nearby residents, and impact the local environment. By integrating DustScanAQ’s monitoring data into Oracle Primavera Unifier, there is an audit trail with calls to action for alert events, making it a powerful onsite air-quality management tool.
“Our partnership with Oracle promotes accountability and proactive site management to the benefit of staff, the local community, and the environment,” says Oliver Puddle, technical director at DustScanAQ. “As well as the environmental benefits of our integrated platform having a positive impact on a development site’s sustainability, our air quality monitoring equipment itself can be 100% solar-powered—as it is at the lab in Reading—and is in itself a sustainable solution.”
The need for near real-time air quality on capital projects is ever more important. The ability to react to issues and engage with the workforce and external communities immediately enhances the health and safety of all around.
“Enabling DustScanAQ to interact with Oracle Primavera Unifier allows project management and controls to manage alerts and expedite measures to resolve,” says Geoff Roberts, director of industry and innovation for Oracle Construction and Engineering. “In addition, by managing air quality over time, trends can be established to ensure not only health and safety is being considered but also the sustainability aspects around air quality and particulates.”
Air quality is negatively affected by elevated concentrations of pollutants including particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, which are linked with a wide range of negative health outcomes.
Elevated carbon dioxide emissions also impact the environment, causing increased ocean acidification and climate change. Air-quality management improves sustainability while reducing the negative health and environmental impacts associated with air pollution.
DustScanAQ’s air quality monitoring system with data integration into Oracle Primavera Unifier promotes more proactive site management.
“Site operators, such as construction firms, using our technology would set up the concentration alerts to be directed to key site staff, who in the event of high dust levels, for example, would be notified and instructed to take immediate action—perhaps by temporarily suspending operations or activating dust suppression measures using water,” Puddle says. “The quicker a pollution event is controlled, the less impact it has on the environment.”
A construction site that minimizes its air-quality impacts is an example of operating respectfully and sustainably. The project also is less likely to receive attention from regulators if its site emissions are controlled.
Owners who demonstrate best practices also build goodwill in their industry and are more likely to gain stakeholder investment and win future projects.
As well as offering air quality monitoring services, DustScanAQ also provides an occupational exposure assessment service where they visit clients’ premises to implement personal monitoring of dust and other aerosols.
“We can analyze for specific dusts such as silica, asbestos, and heavy metals,” Puddle says. “We compare our monitoring results to workplace exposure limits and, based on our experience of visiting hundreds of sites over the years, can provide dust control recommendations to help our clients reduce their exposure levels, improving worker health and wellbeing.”
Historically, air-quality monitoring on construction and other sites has mainly been a “tick-box” exercise to satisfy planning conditions.
“But with Oracle data integration into Primavera Unifier, our clients can do so much more with their data. They can manage their sites more proactively and ultimately operate more sustainably,” Puddle adds.
The Oracle Smart Construction Platform combines our industry-trusted applications with a common data environment and an ecosystem of partners to help owners and delivery teams work together and continuously improve performance. The platform connects teams and data, synchronizes work, and empowers individuals to make informed, proactive decisions. Power performance with proven Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for scheduling, portfolio management, construction project management, project controls, construction payment management, and more.