Let’s say someone in the employee break room of your office likes to microwave fish for lunch. Or perhaps a coworker in a shared space uses a little too much cologne or perfume. If that enclosed space is well ventilated, you may notice these things slightly or not at all. However, with poor ventilation, these odors are hard to ignore. With proper IAQ the building is in effect protecting you from unpleasant odors in the air like the way white blood cells attack viruses. In this case, it creates a self-healing building in a sense.
Dr. Rajiv Sahay, FIAS, CIAQP, Chief Scientific Officer for Pure Air Controls and director of Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory sees self-healing buildings as a way to ensure building health and manage risks to occupants. While overpowering scents may be annoying but may be harmless, but virus transmission presents a real threat. Even as the vaccination rates go up around the country, new COVID variants are emerging. And no one knows what the next virus will be and how dangerous it would be for individuals and societies. Facilities managers who look for the cause of poor IAQ issues are better equipped to treat them.
The science is clear, SARS-CoV-2 is spread through aerosol transmission. When a person infected with the COVID-19 virus coughs or sneezes, the virus is released along with respiratory droplets. This puts those nearby at risk of contracting the virus. However, smaller droplets travel further and stay suspended in the air longer depending on their buoyancy and other influential factors. This puts building occupants at risk of inhaling them and contracting the disease.
What facilities managers, business owners, and other stakeholders must understand is the adequate IAQ, through proper ventilation, dilutes viruses as they travel from the source. To create this self-healing building, it’s important to understand the cause of the issue. In other words, as Dr. Rajiv Sahay refers, you can’t treat the problem without a diagnosis. In this analogy, think of Pure Air Control Services, Inc. as the building’s doctor. It’s a part of our Healthy Building Program to diagnose and treat IAQ issues.
The first step in treating a problem is to find the root cause.
Building Health Check for Self-Healing Buildings
Diagnosis, done through our Building Sciences, also includes a Building Health Check. This includes mold assessments, allergen and dust screening, contaminant source and risk assessments, as well as other environmental tests. Testing is the first step to creating a self-healing building.
HVAC Hygiene Assessment
An HVAC Hygiene Assessment is another tool in diagnosing IAQ issues. Testing of airflow and energy efficiency and building tightness pinpoints IAQ problems. Samples collected from the air handling unit undergo analysis at our EDLab to detect the presence of bacteria and fungi. The EDLab also conducts baseline environmental testing for SARS-CoV-2, allergens, mycotoxins, and pollutants.
After diagnosis, a treatment plan follows including remediation, cleaning, disinfection, and air cleaning technologies.
Building Remediation Sciences
Pure Air Control Services provides a combined approach to IAQ using several methods to improve ventilation and create self-healing buildings as a result. These systems include:
PURE-Steam – Hygienically cleans HVAC units using 350° F steam improving ventilation.
PURE-Duct – Hygienically cleans supply and return ductwork reducing particles and allergens.
HVAC New Life – Cleans with PURE-Steam coupled with an anti-microbial coating to ECM Fan Array Retrofit improving ventilation.
PURE-Decon – Disinfects with EPA-certified electrostatic DEP sprayers destroying viruses and other pathogens.
Air Cleaning Technologies
The use of air cleaning technologies reduces pathogens and creates self-healing buildings using bipolar ionization, HEPA filters, and UV lights.
Air Purifiers – In-room HEPA air purifiers use carbon filtration to absorb odors and remove VOCs while HEPA filtration traps 99.97 percent of any pollutants that pass through.
UV Lights – Ultraviolet lights, as used on PURE-AIR UVC BOTs, sanitize and disinfect using ultraviolet C disinfection and ultrasonic dry mist disinfection to kill 99 percent of viruses, mold, and bacteria.
Monitoring Assists Self-Healing Buildings
After the diagnosis and treatment of IAQ issues, the monitoring of environmental conditions is another key factor in maintaining self-healing buildings. For example, IAQ Guard installed on-site provides around-the-clock information to a remote Building Sciences team in real-time. This alerts facilities managers to changes in temperature, relative humidity, CO2, and VOC levels.
Article Source: https://pureaircontrols.com/self-healing-building-yes-find-out-how/