In these new series of articles, ‘Becoming a RESET AP’, RESET introduces pioneers from across the globe who have taken up the mission of creating healthier buildings. These individuals have not just decided to become AP’s (or Accredited Professionals) themselves, but have also extended the certification to their employees, clients and partners, but also integrated it in their business offerings.
Here’s what Sam Carson, Director of Sustainability Innovation, Carbon Credentials, has to say.
What made you decide to pursue becoming a RESET Air Accredited Professional?
We were looking for ways to make Health and Wellbeing in buildings actually matter, and we were finding it hard to get through the chatter to something that will actually drive performance. We were looking to take something to our landlord clients which aligned to what they expect from us: programmes which are action and positive impact-oriented, based on data and evidence but focused on buildings in operation. We were experimenting in different aspects of the World Green Building Council's "Better Places for People" office framework and it was clear that Indoor Air Quality is operational and something we can measure. So RESET was a natural next step.
What makes the RESET Air Standard different?
Indoor Air Quality is actually really complicated to those who don't have a history in the field. The causes and effects are not as linear as they might be in Energy or Water, and we need to be able to have confidence in the data in order to make good decisions. So, needing good data, we need good sensors - but we also need a good data management programme, data redundancy and the ability to share the data in real-time locally so it can matter to occupants. This is all actually quite challenging stuff, and RESET sets the bar in making sure that the certified system is fit for purpose. A certified RESET building has good quality air. That's all there is to it. We like that.
How is RESET relevant in the UK and European market?
Air Quality is a hot topic in the UK right now, particularly in London where Mayor Sadiq Khan has made it one of his signature issues. It appears in different forms almost monthly on the front page of newspapers. So, there is a lot of discussion, but the discussions are not always educated. What is good? How does this affect me? I think a lot of people are confused by this topic. RESET actually helps to educate and manage this discussion. We see RESET as a useful basis to engage with occupants about air quality but also as a less boring way to talk about the HVAC plant and building controls.
We are focused on getting our first few pilots certified before we launch a full campaign in the market, but our initial discussions with potential clients was interesting and we found our clients were engaged. We initially focused on landlords and they appreciate having a wellbeing programme on site which is relevant to how they operate the building. The pragmatic way that the standard is laid out means that they can understand what they are certifying, and it relates to the actual asset. It provides real data. The outcome has to be good quality. That works well for them.
What is the most interesting challenge that you've had on your RESET projects?
We finally had the sensors on site and we were getting data back on our first RESET Air Core and Shell project, and I was really excited. I started to visualise what was about a week's worth of data, and I had a CO2 problem. A CO2 problem? On a rooftop AHU? It took awhile before the penny dropped and I realised we had to adjust the exhaust recirculation. The recirculation helps with energy recovery, but in this case it meant that occupants were not getting enough fresh air. I think there are probably a lot of buildings in Europe with this problem. How else would you know?
About Sam Carson
Sam is the Director of Sustainability Innovation at , a company that provides expert consultancy, advice and support to help clients meet their objectives, through an insightful data-driven approach. The company further helps clients improve energy performance, leverage data and ensure compliance.
Sam is passionate about helping businesses become stronger through sustainability and by using energy more efficiently. For several years, Sam supported the development of Carbon Credentials’ Data Services programme, including the incorporation of business intelligence tools and improvement in data visualisation techniques.
Sam has supported a number of clients to develop sophisticated data-enabled sustainability programmes that are relevant to various stakeholders. Now, as Director of Sustainability Innovation, Sam works across all Carbon Credentials teams to support how we manage innovation within the company. In this role he is leading the continued development of our data management and reporting platform, ensuring all areas of the business is supported by the latest in data visualisation tools.
Previously, Sam worked in the sustainability team at the leading commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. In this role, he worked with some of the UK’s largest property companies to help them manage their energy data and reporting projects.
A lifelong sailor, Sam has sailed around the world and spent several years sailing professionally on large and prestigious sailing yachts.
Sam can be contacted