Australian bushfires test portfolio resilience
During the summer of 2019-20, Australia experienced bushfires across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory. The smoke and ash from these fires caused abnormally high levels of airborne pollutants across major CBDs and metropolitan areas. At various times, Australian cities recorded the poorest air quality globally. On days of poor outdoor air quality caused by the bushfires, Dexus tested the indoor air quality (IAQ) at select properties to evaluate the effectiveness of air filtration systems and management practices. Over the summer, Dexus also established a cross-functional IAQ working group to review IAQ monitoring, alerts and communications, air filter selection, operational procedures and mitigation strategies.
The working group developed an action response matrix to coordinate outdoor air monitoring and management responses to reduce the ingress of polluted air on days of poor outdoor air quality. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, the IAQ working group has prioritised its review and testing of air filtration systems and is examining the capacity and capability of the existing ventilation systems in commercial buildings to manage external and internal air quality. This work is ongoing with the support of external providers and the Dexus operations team which is expected to result in further enhancements to air quality management procedures.