By Anne Cosgrove
From the April 2022 Concern
T hough it’s in fact invisible, since March 2020 indoor quality of air (IAQ) has undoubtedly turn into a visible concern to anyone who functions, lifestyles, or plays in a service. With the emergence of Covid-19 throughout the world, facilities specialists and fellow building sector stakeholders possess ramped up activities and awareness linked to hawaii of the IAQ of their amenities. Service Executive spoke with three business sources about functions and upkeep (O&M) procedures that aid in knowing your facility’s present IAQ conditions, within the trip toward healthier indoor areas.
Baseline IAQ Very first
Alan Wozniak, President of Pure Air Handles, Inc. , an established indoor quality of air firm nationally, shared this insight: “It’s always far better understand the baseline conditions inside a building and the systems functioning. What can you do if you went to most of your care physician and lacking any examination or single question delivered you directly to possess your spleen removed? Needless to say, no doctor would do this! It’s exactly the same for structures and HVAC. Make the expense in data and technology through quantitative IAQ/HVAC baseline assessments that may efficiently steer budgets, planning, and result in successful outcomes. Saving money ultimately, enhancing IAQ conditions and resulting in greater ROI.”
Continues Wozniak, “Obtain the data, create a plan, and then invest in it. There are a number of non-governmental businesses like ASHRAE, IAQA, NADCA, among others offering clear guidance for HVAC, indoor quality of air and operations. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1 addresses ventilation for acceptable IAQ specifically. In fact, Section 8 is completely dedicated toward applying an Procedures and Maintenance Manual, or O&M.”
“You should understand the prevailing conditions and correcting issues before presenting new equipment,” provides Wozniak. “You might be putting a bandage on a hemorrhaging condition or perhaps a tourniquet for a bandage need. For instance, outfitting dirty air flow handlers with UV or needlepoint bipolar ionization will be very little help, if any, and perform nothing to boost airflow, building dehumidification, and building pressurization if the coils are usually fouled.”
Use Building Automation Tech
Greg Turner, Senior Director of Engineering at Honeywell , seconds the significance of first focusing on how building systems are usually performing linked to IAQ. “This starts having an air quality audit,” he says. “The audit carries a combination of measurements made out of handheld tools and examination of AHUs and outside air intakes. We assess ventilation needs for enhancing IAQ which could require both attracting more oxygen and cleansing recirculated indoor air to boost energy efficiency.”
Turner then highlights the role of creating technology to take next steps in the journey. “In some instances, facility managers can purge creating contaminants like volatile organic substances (VOCs) by extending the working times of HVAC systems to perform on basis of the existing occupancy of a facility and effective scheduling (e.g., prior to the earliest occupants arrive for your day and following the last occupants have gone for the night time). Additionally, facility teams can raise the amount of air exchanges each hour to provide oxygen to closed spaces-this may be accomplished through natural or mechanical ventilation.”
“Additionally, air conditioning filter media can possess a significant effect on a building’s quality of air, ventilation rates and also energy consumption,” continues Turner. “With regards to sustained operations, utilizing an air conditioning filter with proper MERV rating for the contaminants of concern and the mechanical system design can help significantly reduce indoor pollution at the cheapest filter, labor, and energy cost. Using settings, such as for example healthcare facilities, HEPA filtration could be warranted for improved filtration efficiency.”
Bring ALL OF THE Tools Together
It’s not news to facility managers that IAQ is really a complex issue, and that every building will have its challenges, opportunities, and ultimately, solutions. Johnson Controls recently launched an industry-first providing for buildings professionals using its OpenBlue IAQ as something (IAQaaS). Tyler Smith, Executive Director, Healthy Buildings Solutions and Solutions with the business, explains, “[This new providing] allows facilities to cover outcomes rather than equipment. Our long-term life cycle funding models permit facilities to modernize and refresh climate environments while mitigating risk-putting clean air-concentrated upgrades at your fingertips for facilities of most types.”
In talking about what facilities might perform when analyzing current IAQ conditions and the role of these HVAC O&M, Smith says, “The EPA’s recent ‘Clean Air in Buildings Challenge’ [announced March 22, 2022] addresses this problem and marks an important step in the trip toward healthier, cleaner infrastructure through the entire country. This challenge offers a group of guidelines and resources building owners and operators may use to prioritize IAQ of their facilities.”
The EPA Challenge targets:
- Develop a clean indoor air action plan that assesses indoor quality of air and consists of HVAC inspections and maintenance.
- Optimize oxygen ventilation by attracting and circulating fresh outdoor air.
- Enhance air filtration and cleansing utilizing the central HVAC system and in-room air-cleaning devices. “For some buildings, we recommend making use of filters with a MERV rating of at the very least 13, or as high as 16 for several applications. HEPA filters may also be available and so are becoming more prevalent in commercial buildings, especially when installed within a portable filtration device,” states Smith. And,
- Engage the constructing community by interacting with developing occupants to improve awareness, commitment, and participation.
Concentrating on how facilities will make improvements with the gear they have set up today, Smith advises: “Building owners can turn to optimize their HVAC controls sequences and enhanced filtration (including portable filtration) in order that they work together to support building load flexes. Many buildings aren’t operating at a frequent occupant capacity. Control systems can auto-monitor creating load and react appropriately by dictating the perfect blend of come back and outdoor air mix. Getting that control system set up ensures buildings are keeping appropriate IAQ levels, despite having fluctuating building loads.”
Wherever your facility will be on the IAQ improvement journey, examining existing gear and procedures is really a step that will get you in the proper direction.
Cosgrove will be Editorial Director of Facility Executive.
Share your ideas in the Comments section below, or deliver an e-mail to the Editor at [email guarded] .