Airtight

Airtight

Whilst you are in residence at The Denizen pure breathable air will be supplied into and circulated from your apartment twenty four seven. The rate at which fresh air is pumped into your apartment will be automatically determined by carefully monitoring the needs of its inhabitants as they move through their daily routines. This ensures there is always enough air for everyone in the apartment to function at optimum comfort and efficiency and that you will never find yourself paying for air you don’t need. The price of air is subject to change without warning. If pollution levels increase outside due to weather events or circumstances beyond the company’s control and our back-up technologies have to be brought online then more energy will be required to filter out harmful particles from The Denizen’s air supply and therefore you may notice that your air meter is turning more quickly than you might have anticipated. It is strongly recommended that residents set up a flexible direct debit to cover the costs of their air. There is a back-up generator to ensure that all The Denizen’s services will continue to function in the event of a power outage. In addition all apartments are equipped with emergency oxygen masks, similar to those on an aircraft.

Once it was decided to develop The Denizen as London’s first certified pure air living environment (PALE)®, some adaptations in the original award-winning design were necessitated. The principal of these was the decision to enclose all the terraces on the building transforming them into greenhouse spaces. Reluctantly the decision was taken to make these greenhouses inaccessible from the apartments. It was felt that their function as part of the air-purifying system was fundamentally incompatible with their use as living spaces. How the technology works: London’s polluted air is drawn into the greenhouses through their ventilation screens. At this stage the coarsest of the particulate matter in the air is eliminated. Passively heated by virtue of solar radiation, the polluted air rises through The Denizen’s interior ducts fitted with many layers of filters designed to trap the different types of pollution found in the environment, even the tiny toxic PM 2.5. By the time the air reaches the top of the building it is of certified PALE® quality and only at that point after rigorous testing is it allowed to enter The Denizen’s supply of breathable air.

This process, like all innovatory technologies, has not been without teething problems. Despite the use of self-cleaning, pollution-eating glass to enclose the terraces, maintaining the building’s attractive appearance has proved something of a challenge. The exterior ventilation screens through which polluted air is drawn into the greenhouses quickly became clogged with particulate matter. In theory rain would wash this down onto the glass and the chemicals coating the glass would work together with water and sunlight to produce ‘free radicals’ that lock the dirt and pollution into a ‘skin’ to be ‘sloughed off’ onto the street below where it could be mopped up in the process of normal street cleansing. However the accumulation of particulate matter on these ventilation screens has proved too rapid for the glass to cope with. This is what has led to the appearance of the dark smears on the exterior glass. After the hashtag ‘Dirty Denizen’ began trending on social media we moved quickly to address residents’ concerns by introducing manual window cleaning on a fortnightly basis. This is why the service charge has been subject to an emergency raise. Please refer to your original purchase contract or contact our management team for further information/clarification.

Although the plants deployed in the greenhouse spaces were selected as low maintenance and for their attractive appearance, providing a green, living backdrop against which the sophisticated ambience of The Denizen apartments could be even more keenly enjoyed, many failed to thrive. On the other hand some grew so monstrously that residents of a few of the apartments near the top of the south-facing side reported a) experiencing some anxiety at the spectacle of these plants trying to apparently burrow through their windows b) concern that their apartments were shaded by the leaves and stems of plants that appeared to be suffering from a form of gigantism c) that they were not able to enjoy the view over the City of London that they had paid for. We reassured these residents that the plants could not possibly breach the walls and windows of their apartment and arranged for a screen to be installed over the window, which, in addition to hosting a realtime stream of the view over London that apartment had previously enjoyed, also offered its inhabitants a number of other options. Sick of grey skies? You can if you wish change the weather of your view (purchaser subscription required). Or select the view from an apartment higher up the building or a different orientation to be screened on your window. There is even a rotating panorama option. This can be a great way to relax in front of your window in the evening with a glass of wine or a shot of flavoured oxygen. It allows you to study the city you have chosen to make your home and there will be options on your handset to display metadata should you wish more information about a particular building. Homesick or adventurously wishing to travel to another city? An appropriate real time vista could be streamed onto your window, alternatively you may select (purchaser subscription required) a calming view of nature, mountains, wilderness, green fields, the beach or even under the sea. These screens have now been installed in all apartments and have proved to be a very popular innovation.

We recommend that when venturing out into the beating heart of London on your doorstep, you wear an anti-pollution mask at all times. These masks can be purchased from our recommended partner provider; they offer a low-cost, and as many models are washable with replaceable filters, eco-friendly way for you to enjoy all the city has to offer in safety and comfort. Because unfortunately the air you breathe outside in London is putting your health at risk now and in the future. Potential health problems linked to pollution exposure include suppressed lung growth in children, accelerated lung decline in adults, asthma, lung cancer, raised risk of stroke and cardiac arrest, atheroscelerosis (furring of the arteries) plus raised risk of type 2 diabetes. It has also been linked to smaller fetal brain size, impacting child development and impaired cognition in adults. Along with nitrous oxide produced largely from vehicle emissions and ground level ozone caused by chemical reactions between various forms of pollution in strong sunlight the most dangerous pollutants are tiny particles of Particulate Matter – toxic dust or liquid droplets sixty times thinner than a human hair. Levels of PM10s and PM2.5s around The Denizen are twice the WHO max of 10 mcg per m3. To counteract any discomfort your body may experience in moving from the pure air of The Denizen to the polluted outside world we recommend residents carry a handy pocket-sized oxygen canister with them at all times.

The default breathable air supplied to apartments in The Denizen is slightly higher in oxygen than the standard atmospheric mix of 20.95% oxygen 78.09 nitrogen 0.93 argon 0.039 carbon dioxide and small amounts of other gases. This is because our highly efficient filtration system eliminates the small amounts of other gases (eg methane, ammonia, acetone, carbon monoxide) that, in addition to exhaled CO², humans emit, delivering a neutral, totally odourless product into your home. If you fancy something a little different you may choose from our menu of ambient fragrances (purchaser subscription required). Options range from calming to zesty and energetic. You and your family and guests are sure to find a flavour that suits your mood and personality. Remember, in The Denizen it’s ok to inhale.

The air in The Denizen’s communal areas is constantly swept and recycled to clean it of outside contamination. For the safety, health and comfort of all residents, pollution monitors have been installed by the reception desk. These will be triggered in the exceptional event that your clothing is contaminated with particles/pollution judged beyond the tolerance level at which the building’s mechanisms will be able to clear it in normal operation. If one of these exceptional events occurs, you will be escorted to a private area and asked to remove the affected items of clothing. They will be laundered using a special process and returned to you within 24 hours. Whilst we apologise for the occasional inconvenience likely to be caused to residents by this policy, we are confident that, on reflection, individuals will appreciate that these policies have been instituted for the benefit of all those residing in The Denizen.

The company take their responsibilities to the local community in which The Denizen stands seriously. Paint designed to combat pollution by locking away nitrous oxide emissions has been used on all The Denizen’s exterior surfaces. In addition the company have erected ‘urban trees’ – you will have observed these in the immediate area – tall double-sided screens covered with moss between two benches. Moss cultures have a much greater leaf surface area than any other plant and therefore are extremely efficient at absorbing pollutants from the atmosphere. These ‘trees’ deliver the same pollution-lowering benefit as 275 actual trees, absorbing 250 grams of particles every day, lowering ambient temperature and removing 240 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. Positioned along the pavements opposite The Denizen, they provide this benefit to our neighbours whilst forming a visually pleasing green screen for the apartments on the lower floors of the building. Our desire to ‘give back’ to the local community has also led us to make small grants to two committed local gardening clubs finding innovative ways to garden with little natural sunlight in a polluted urban environment.

When apartments are uninhabited for more than a week their supply of breathable air is turned off. Non-circulating air quickly becomes stagnant and therefore while the apartment is unoccupied it is more efficient to remove the air altogether and store the apartment in vacuo. Because of the advanced construction methods used in the building of The Denizen and the great pains taken with workmanship at all levels, it is possible to achieve a near perfect vacuum inside each unit. The main door to the apartment is sealed and a notification placed on it that it is a state of in vacuo. Once the seal has been tested to higher than industry standards the air in the apartment is captured by the high capacity vacuum pumps that form part of the air management and delivery system. We have a great deal of experience in this field and therefore the air is removed gently enough so no artefacts or furnishings in the apartment are adversely affected. Please be assured that gravitational forces are still in operation while your apartment is in vacuo. Your furniture will not fly around its rooms! The air removed from the newly sealed apartment is purified before being deployed elsewhere in the building. Whilst the apartment is in vacuo it is technically classed as a void. There is no need to heat or cool a void so residents incur zero energy bills whilst the property is in this state. No dust can settle in the apartment whilst it is in vacuo so cleaning is not required. Another piece of good news is that under current legislation a void is classified as ‘unfit for human habitation’ and therefore exempt from council tax. You will continue to be liable for the full amounts of ground rent and service charges under the terms of your lease at The Denizen.

A few residents have expressed concerns about the potential structural consequences of voids. It has been suggested that maintaining discrete internal areas of the building at different air pressures – or in the case of the voids at no air pressure at all – endangers The Denizen’s structure. However the tests carried out on one of our show apartments before and after it was pumped out and re-aired for the first time showed only very fractional variations, well within the perimeters of tolerance accounted for by the natural heating and cooling of the building in the course of a day. In any event the management team has decided that no more than 50% of the apartments can be in vacuo at any one time. Once that quota has been reached any more apartments coming vacant will not be de-aired. As an additional safety measure, if you are going to be away from your apartment for more than six weeks, your apartment will be temporarily re-aired at the correct pressure and its spatial volume assessed on a monthly basis to guarantee peace of mind before being placed in vacuo again. If you wish, the seal on the door can be released and a member of staff carry out a visual inspection of the apartment however most residents do not find this necessary. When you know the date on which you’ll be returning to occupy your apartment, it is advisable to give us at least 48 hours notice so that air can be gradually reintroduced at a rate that will not disturb its contents. Ideally this process will be completed 24 hours before you arrive to take up residency again. This allows for the air to settle and then the temperature can be adjusted to your chosen level of comfort. It is not recommended that you enter your apartment before our regular safety checks have been carried out. Whilst there have never been any adverse effects experienced by those entering a freshly re-aired space, please bear in mind that in the event of anything unforeseen happening the company could not be held responsible in any way. You would have breached the terms of your lease by failing to follow our instructions. Please contact the management team for further information/clarification.

Initially some residents expressed concern about the in vacuo apartments affecting their wi-fi and bluetooth connections. Such worries are groundless as both bluetooth and wifi signals are radio (therefore electromagnetic) waves and electromagnetic waves can propagate in a vacuum. Indeed there are advantages to those who remain in residence of a proportion of the apartments being in vacuo at any one time. Everyone is familiar with the principle of the vacuum flask. Similarly units in vacuo provide effective insulation against heat loss from neighbouring apartments. Since nothing exists in a void to conduct heat, it cannot travel. The same applies to sound which requires air as a medium to propagate. Sound waves cannot move through a space where nothing exists for them to vibrate against. The famous adage ‘in space no one can hear you scream’ is true because space is largely a vacuum. In vacuo units also prevent the noise from the surrounding streets penetrating the Denizen.

Reports of hearing voices and noises from within in vacuo apartments simply cannot be credited. Indeed residents have reported these half-apologetically as if they know that they cannot be true. The sounds are only ever described as ‘fleeting’ or ‘incredibly faint’. When a member of staff is summoned to listen to these noises they have always already ceased. Even when someone claims to have recorded sounds from inside an in vacuo unit on their phone, it is impossible to distinguish anything that could not have been made by their own fingernails running down the outside of the door. After a serious incident when a resident with a history of suffering from auditory hallucinations tried to break down the door of an in vacuo unit claiming they had to rescue whoever was inside, the management committee wishes to take the opportunity to put these dangerous rumours to bed for once and for all. It is impossible that anyone could be inside the sealed apartments and doubly impossible you could hear them if they were because sound does not travel through a vacuum. Yes but what, it was suggested at the meeting, if they were scratching at the inside of the door. If they had put their mouth right up against the veneered surface trusting its vibrations to carry a message delivered with their last remaining breath. Sheer nonsense. Rest assured that the management team would never cut off the air supply from an inhabited apartment. There are emergency failsafes in place. As stated in your leasehold agreements, all apartments have life and motion sensors and if a subject’s vital signs are ever giving cause for alarm then a supply of oxygen will be instantly turned on and staff will be deployed to the apartment to assist.

 

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