Something’s in the air

Using the latest technology to monitor, measure and manage indoor air quality (IAQ), Ivi Sims and the BULCS Holdings team are determined to deliver healthier and happier buildings.

For all the impressive technology that can be used to improve the indoor environment in buildings, Ivi Sims knows there is a crucial first step that must be completed before deploying such devices – monitoring and measuring IAQ using sensor technology.

Sims is co-founder of BULCS Holdings, an Australian business that distributes IAQ, ventilation and building restoration solutions across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

She is also a board member for the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and recently attended the annual meeting and expo in the United States, and reports that IAQ measurement was one of the dominant points of discussion.

“Without having some sort of measurement of indoor air quality, you won’t really be able to identify if there is an issue,” Sims says.

That reality is one of the reasons that BULCS Holdings and subsidiary IAQ Ventilation have developed the Healthy Buildings Scorecard to promote best practice with IAQ across residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

It is a free, evidence-based framework for measuring, monitoring and identifying the elements within a building that affect IAQ.

Sims says the benchmark rating tool is designed for everyone from facility managers, consulting engineers, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors, service providers and sustainability managers.

The goal is to make it easy for people to understand IAQ and improve the health of buildings. “The Healthy Buildings Scorecard helps people communicate in a way that they can say, “These are the strategies that we need to put in place to achieve clean air,” Sims says.

A growing niche

A self-described indoor air quality fanatic, Sims has more than 20 years’ practical experience in the restoration industry. As such, she understands the challenges that buildings face due to poor IAQ, ventilation and humidity control.

She set up BULCS Holdings in 2012 with Dr Melissa Marot and together they partner with global suppliers to distribute leading products and solutions covering restoration, ventilation and IAQ.

As a result of devastating fires and floods during the past decade, as well as the pandemic, demand for BULCS Holdings expertise and products has been steadily growing over the years.

“We’ve created a real niche in the market,” Sims says.

Underpinned by a strong focus on evidence-based research, consulting and training, BULCS Holdings is on a mission to create healthier buildings.

Their product range includes IAQ sensors, dehumidifiers, moisture meters, thermal imaging cameras, ventilation systems and air purifiers, air cleaners and scrubbers.

BULCS Holdings’ suite of equipment and tools gives facility managers a chance to improve the indoor air quality and ventilation of their buildings.

“The whole idea of the business is that we can put our passion into providing information and tools for building owners, facility managers and small businesses to use,” Sims says.

Among the products BULCS Holdings sells, demand is especially on the rise for:

  • The uHoo Aura Indoor Air Sensor – this is designed to keep track of IAQ and integrate with smart building management systems. Data is relayed to smart screens to show employees and building occupants the quality of air in numeric and graphical formats. Sims says this device can monitor 13+ different indoor environmental parameters – temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, various particle sizes (PM10, PM4, PM2.5, PM1), carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), air pressure, light, and sound – allowing users to customise and track indoor environmental quality factors according their needs. “You can use the system to show your customers or your tenants how well the plan is going. And if it’s not going well, you can see the things that are not working and respond accordingly.”
  • The MAXVAC MEDI 10 range of well proven high-performance air cleaners use advanced HEPA filtration to remove 99.995 per cent of airborne dust/ debris and particulates. The MAXVAC Air Purifiers has been proven in independent studies conducted by the renowned research hospital of Addenbrookes, Cambridge, to effectively remove Covid-19 and other microbial bioaerosols from the environment, preventing the spread of infectious diseases and viruses. The combination HEPA and UV-C technology and the success of this study confirm the MAXVAC Air Purifiers range to be a quick and easy, trusted solution for offices, hospitals, healthcare, medical centres and aged care facilities. These units are fully portable and safe for use in occupied areas as all UV-C rays are completely concealed.

One of BULCS Holdings’ other sales drivers is ventilation systems for commercial buildings. Improving ventilation can have a positive impact of the health of building occupants.

Sims notes, “What we’re doing is retrofitting ventilation systems in buildings and helping the HVAC systems cope without replacing the whole system.”

BULCS Holdings is also targeting stagnant air in buildings with higher humidity. A common misconception is that improving ventilation is costly.

“So, for less than a couple of thousand dollars, you can add small standalone ventilation systems and start to create that airflow within the building. Another benefit is that is may also reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioner too.”

A moral imperative

For all the importance of technology, Sims says it is crucial to complement smart machines with human expertise and scientific knowledge from the likes of occupational hygienists and scientific researchers. That allows users to analyse data and come up with the right IAQ and ventilation decisions.

As she reflects on the past few years, Sims believes it is crucial to protect people from the dangers of pandemics and other health threats.

“My fear is that we go back to our old ways – that people don’t put away a couple of thousand dollars to look after their staff and occupants.”

Practising what she preaches, Sims adds that BULCS Holdings has installed sensors and air purifiers in its offices to ensure that her employees are as safe as possible in a new world where COVID-19 is still prevalent.

“I look after my staff, so they don’t get sick working in our office,” Sims says.

“It’s very important that, apart from selling products, that we are out there training our staff and to make sure that people don’t forget another pandemic could be just around the corner. We can’t afford to be complacent.”

BULCS Holdings is a leading distributor of world class indoor air quality, ventilation and building restoration systems and solutions across Australia and the Asia Pacific. To learn more, visit or call 1300 654 684.