The Algarve company is "in the front line" in the fight against legionella

Arteste was a pioneer and will now launch on other flights

The Algarve company Arteste was born in 2009 and is "at the forefront" in preventing and controlling bacteria Legionella. Currently, he works with hotels, hospitals, water parks and sports complexes, carrying out consultancy work that involves risk assessment, development of prevention plans and audits, culminating with the award of a “Legionella Safe Building” certificate. 

When the company was created, the fight against Legionella nor was it Nuno Antão's first idea.

“The company was created to respond to the energy certification of buildings and, more specifically, to indoor air quality. It was an issue that was in the legislation and we thought it was a good idea to have a company dedicated to that», explained the general director of Arteste, in an interview with Sul Informação.

“Over time, there were some changes and the company had to adapt. About four years ago, I also opted to leave another company that I had and took 100% in Arteste», he added.

Nuno Antao

Nuno Antão even had the idea of ​​working in terms of consultancy for Legionella and effected it from there. "Why? Because at the time, little was done. In terms of research, the labs worked well, but very little was done beyond that. Problems arose recurrently and no one quite knew how to react», he explained.

What the company then began to develop was a system that “encompassed best practices, identified critical spaces and defined corrective measures. For us, the key was, of course, prevention and control», added the general director of Arteste.

And so a project associated with a brand was born: the “Legionella Safe Building” which «serves to distinguish buildings with low risk of Legionella», said Nuno Antão.

This bacterium, which "is present in most environments where there is underground or surface water, arranges ideal conditions in the building networks to propagate". And, "the greater the supply, the greater the probability of development of Legionella», he added.

The company's work is, therefore, that of «consultancy that involves several phases: risk assessment, risk management, with the development of a prevention plan for the Legionella, training, analysis for validation, periodic audits, and we culminate all this with a certificate, a diploma», stressed Nuno Antão.

“Right now, we work with a wide range of infrastructures, such as hotels, hospitals, municipal buildings, sports complexes, industry, two water parks and a nursing home. O feedback it has been very positive», acknowledged the director general of Arteste, in an interview with Sul Informação.

And proof that the work of this company is pioneering is the fact that Arteste already had its trademark registered a year before the outbreak of Legionella at the Hospital of Vila de Franca de Xira that killed 12 people in 2014.

«Obviously, it was known that there were many positive reviews, but the truth is that, after Vila Franca de Xira, there was a media focus that awakened some consciences», recognizes Nuno Antão.

«The legislation was enacted this year, requires prevention and, much of what it provides, we had already incorporated into our model: risk assessment, for example. There are other brands working in consulting, but we were pioneers. We are at the forefront», guarantees the general director of Arteste.

The company currently has clients distributed throughout the Algarve, Lisbon and Madeira. «I think we are at the right time to make Arteste grow in light of the countless requests we have had. Between August and November, we presented more than 50 proposals, for example», said Nuno Antão.

But, before thinking about other flights, the company's general director wishes to thank the support of CRIA – Division of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer of the University of Algarve, in whose business center, located on the Campus de Gambelas, Arteste is headquartered and offices.

«It was a decisive help for our growth: the knowledge that made us acquire, the connection with other people, the brand registration itself. It was all very important and now, taking our know-how, we are going to try to implement our brand on a European scale», concluded Nuno Antão.


Photos: Pablo Sabater | Sul Informação