Increased CO2 Monitoring
CO2 monitoring is fast becoming a must-have for public building operators as it’s a great indicator of how much other people’s breath is around us - and therefore a great tool for measuring the potential of virus spread.
No More Recirculated Air?
In a number of countries, recirculation of air is used as an HVAC strategy to minimize energy impact and the costs involved with operating a building. But now, the recommendation is increasingly to switch to 100% outdoor air for all air handling units.
HVAC Energy Optimization Vs. Building Health
When we refresh the air, we risk bringing in outdoor pollution - the faster we refresh, the faster we clean but if we move to a refresh rate of 100% from 20-30%, we risk placing a considerable energy burden on the HVAC systems which they may not be ready for. There is also the question of increasing refresh rate unnecessarily if the air outside is cleaner than the indoors.
This dilemma is refocusing attention back to the balancing act which exists between energy efficiency and health when managing buildings. The focus on energy optimization alone is no longer enough.
Rising IAQ Standards & Regulation
New indoor environment certifications are providing updated guidance to building managers to manage indoor spaces. For example, the International WELL Building Institute has developed a new standard called the WELL Health-Safety Rating - a scientifically-backed certification to show a building is doing everything to keep occupants safe from the virus, managing air, and water quality, and promoting health-conscious policies.
Healthier Indoor Air Spaces to Boost Productivity & ROI
The Syracuse University Center of Excellence conducted a seminal study into office air quality, and the impact it has on our brains and our ability to perform as knowledge workers: They built a four-story laboratory with a very advanced ventilation system, and finely tuned the levels of CO2 and VOCs within the space.
The results showed cognitive abilities increased by 101% - by increasing the rate of ventilation in their spaces. These findings are associated with $40 per employee, per year - with a productivity gain estimated at $6,500, per employee.
In 2021, the British multinational financial services & asset management company Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) announced its partnership with the air quality certification company AirRated to ensure improved air quality across its UK office portfolio