Dubai-based smart and green maintenance specialist Hitches & Glitches (H&G), part of the Farnek Group, has launched a specialised sustainable cleaning, maintenance and repair package, especially for the UAE’s mosques. The package also includes support to enable mosques to achieve sustainability, health & safety goals according to GBAC Star accreditation and Green Globe certification requirements.
“H&G has assembled highly trained and multi-skilled teams, that are not only fully conversant with the Islamic rules of prayer and the role that the mosque plays within their respective communities, but are also led by sustainability professionals,” said Kelvin Vargheese, Director, Hitches & Glitches.
Given the pandemic, it is essential that mosques are thoroughly sanitized ahead and after each communal prayer, particularly on Fridays. Even though the authorities have stated that capacities are limited to 30%, it is of paramount importance that worshippers wear mandatory face masks and maintain a physical distance of three metres.
With potentially large numbers of people sharing one indoor space, it is important that air conditioning units are kept well maintained and cleaned regularly, to keep the indoor air environment as safe as possible.
As a part of H&G’s package, experienced teams can carry out HVAC filtration and duct disinfection as well as install UV lighting devices inside the ducts to reduce and sterilise any dust particles and other harmful airborne viruses.
“Pathogens, which may be viruses, bacteria, or fungi, can spread through breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, raising of dust, spraying of liquids, toilet flushing or any activities which generate aerosol particles or droplets,” added Vargheese.
To further support mosques, Farnek, H&G’s sister company, recently achieved GBAC STAR™ accreditation for its HQ in Dubai, from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the global cleaning industry trade association.
“Other cleaning standards do not cover this level of detail and our accreditation proves that we can quickly address biological threats and support our customers.
“We can help guide our customers achieve the standards required for GBAC STAR accreditation, which is performance-based and rely on comprehensive and ongoing training, covering disinfection techniques and cleaning best practice for biohazard situations,” said Vargheese.
In terms of sustainability, air conditioning modules or smart thermostats can be most cost-effective when reducing energy output, especially in between prayer times, when temperatures can vary dramatically, depending on the number of worshippers attending prayer. H&G can also mount solar panels to reduce electricity consumption, as well as install smart LED lighting systems.
Water tank cleaning and testing is also vital when using ablution water ensuring its safe for worshippers. Installing tap aerators is another efficient way to reduce water consumption, without affecting water pressure. Aerators work by forcing air through the spout, thereby reducing the amount of water used.
In terms of sustainability accreditation, Farnek is a preferred partner of Green Globe, an international certification body that provides a structured assessment of the sustainability performance, primarily of travel and tourism businesses, but also cultural attractions.
The Green Globe Standard includes 44 core criteria supported by over 380 compliance indicators. and provides certification standards that would apply to mosques in the areas of environmental protection, social engagement, cultural emphasis and sustainable management.
“We can advise, encourage and support mosques, to monitor improvements in their sustainable performance, document those achievements, which once audited may lead to certification,” added Vargheese.