COVID-19 And The Future of Air Quality

The world changed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Now, businesses and organizations are figuring out ways to move forward from such a challenging global crisis. One of the biggest challenges that facility managers & administrators face is how to get employees back to work safely.

Researchers in a recent study discovered positive substantial relationships between air quality variables in each nation and COVID-19 infections e.g., airborne transmission of COVID-19. They concluded that poor air quality correlated with a higher mortality rate; poor air quality being, high PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide levels. The science behind the airborne transmission of COVID-19 points to practical mitigation strategies in facilities by installing available Indoor Air Quality equipment which can mitigate COVID-19 transmission; distributed sensing networks can then monitor the effectiveness of the installed systems.

Building owners and facility managers are all searching for clarity around what equipment can mitigate COVID-19 in the building environment and how to monitor the success of said strategies. It is critically important that they have access to accurate data that paints a realistic picture of how their facility operations strategies for HVAC, Air Exchanges, etc., are functioning to reduce the spread of the virus.

In his white paper (Using IoT Environmental Sensing to Reopen Spaces) Jovan Pantelic, Ph.D., (2020) stated, “When a distributed sensing network is deployed in the space, building managers and HVAC system operators can gain real-time values and alerts that can keep them informed about the operation of interventions implemented to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 throughout the workspace, and in particular keep the most vulnerable spaces in the building operating safely.

COVID-19 and Infectious disease transmission within the building environment involve short-term exposure events, studies indicate that COVID-19 can be viable in the air for up to 3 hours, requiring a smart sensing network ideally placed in spaces that have the potential for multiple occupants and high concentrations of infectious airborne aerosols, allowing operators to quickly understand and respond to any identified risk.

With accurate information derived from sensors and powerful analytics software, owners and operators will be able to make informed decisions that improve their building IAQ unifying their entire organization’s view on the safety of their work environment. Providing the reassurance of a wholesome indoor atmosphere offers individuals the confidence they need to resume a normal life.

Vitality is a cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) SaaS company serving the public and private sector via digital transformation strategies. Every day, Vitality processes over 23 Billion records of critical data from energy meters, HVAC equipment, building automation systems, to indoor air quality sensors.

Providing the data visualization customers are looking for in the critical areas of indoor environment quality and equipment asset management, all in real-time. With Vitality’s Building Intelligence, data consolidation happens in one platform, from any non-proprietary device allowing for better and quicker decisions, making proactive building management a reality.

If you are looking for technical infrastructure that can facilitate a safe return to the workplace, Vitality is the central platform to assist you in meeting these objectives. Please contact us for a free consultation on how we can facilitate this for your facility.

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