Air we go: Tech-savvy Dublin dad tackles ventilation issue

by Gazette Reporter

A Dublin dad has come up with a novel way of ensuring air quality in schools is safe without having to leave windows open in the dead of winter.

Peter Murphy, CEO and co-founder of Irish company ZiggyTec, has created new technology which aims to help schools stay open in colder weather.

ZiggyTec uses data-as-a-service to extract air quality readings in commercial buildings, making monitoring air quality simple and easy. 

In recent months the company has pivoted to focus on ventilation in schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Peter told Dublin Gazette: “Last September my 12-year-old came home from school one day complaining that the classroom was freezing cold and she couldn’t hear the teacher because the windows were wide open onto the playground.  

“I thought about it and said surely in this day and age we can be a bit more scientific about ventilating the classroom without the need to leave all the windows wide open all day.

“That’s when I came up with the concept of ClassFresh. For years ZiggyTec has been measuring air quality in large air-conditioned corporate offices. 

“The challenge in the classroom was that we needed to feedback live information on air quality to the teacher so that they could control the ventilation directly. Opening the windows when quality levels dropped and closing windows when air quality levels were in the safe zone.

“Very quickly I realised from talking to other parents that this problem was in all schools.  So we set to work in our lab and developed software and a classroom display unit. 

“The unit measures air quality (Co2 levels) and displays clear instructions to the classroom to say it is safe to close windows or necessary to open windows.”

The software was successfully trialled at a number of schools in October and has now been rolled out at Monkstown CBC, Loreto Foxrock and Harold’s Cross NS. 

Peter said: “Our goal is to deploy our device in every school in Ireland so that we can keep schools open and our kids safe.”

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