Adjusting To The New Normal
The ASHRAE Journal Newsletter published Guidance for Building Operations During the Covid-19 Pandemic in March to aid building owners in combatting the spread of the virus. Boland remains available 24/7 for any client needs as an Essential Services Provider (document link) during this time. For Boland's up-to-date COVID-19 Plan, click here.
As a business owner and operator, how can you proactively adjust indoor air quality to protect business, tenants, and employees as we all adjust to what appears to be a new normal? Below are options to help meet each client’s needs in the built environment aligned to ASHRAE Standards and CDC Guidelines.
Here is a list of trustworthy resources in the HVAC industry on COVID-19:
ASHRAE Standard 170-2017 (“Ventilation of Health Care Facilities”)
Here are some considerations we think are important to know when making a plan for your organization:
Get High-Efficiency Filtration
Dynamic Air V8 Cleaners
In the ASHRAE article, they list improving the central air filtration to MERV-13 or higher. An example of a MERV-13+ solution is the Dynamic Air V8 Air cleaning system. These systems provide a MERV-14 static rating and with a very low air pressure drop and superior dust holding capacity making them ideal for retrofit applications. This type of solution is a consideration for green buildings, hospitals, and other special clean environment manufacturing applications.
Add Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO)
Genesis Air Cleaners drastically and efficiently improves indoor air quality with a Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) process that removes/reduces airborne contaminants, not capturing them. State-of-the-art technology is utilized in the Genesis Air Photocatalyst GAP to reduce airborne biologics and Volatile Organic Compounds using UVC lights as the catalyst. This process is safe – no ozone or by-products broadcast into the occupied space (unlike ionization technology), no accumulation of chemical contaminants, converts toxic substances into benign materials. While most air cleaning applications simply filter the air and trap pollutants, PCO breaks down these contaminates while still airborne. Learn more.
Ensure Proper Ventilation and Increase Outdoor Air Intake
Trane Dedicated Outdoor Air Solutions (DOAS)
Trane DOAS units condition 100 percent outdoor air, provide multiple filtration options, antimicrobial UV lights, sanitary stainless steel interior, energy recovery for maximum efficiency, variable speed compressors for increased efficiency and longer life, and direct drive plenum fan for better air control.
Valent Air Management Systems
Valent units condition 100 percent outdoor air, options for energy recovery through energy wheels or plate heat exchangers for those concerned about cross contamination, inverter scroll compressors, whisper-quiet condensing fans, and plenum exhaust fans are available for better air control. Read data sheet. Download product catalog.
Maintain Proper Temperature and Humidity Levels in Buildings
ASHRAE research suggests that controlling relative humidity can reduce the transmission of certain airborne infectious diseases. While they don’t make a recommendation on indoor temperature and humidity set-points for the specific purpose of controlling infectious aerosol transmission, owners and operators can use the information provided in the article on infectious aerosols to make system design and operating decisions as needed. Humidity is a known contributor to mold, health issues, property damage, equipment failures and structure degradation. Zone-level terminal units are left to offset the latent load, and are often incapable of doing so, especially at part-load conditions.
At part-load conditions, the terminal unit controller reduces its cooling capacity to avoid over-cooling the space, which results in little (or no) dehumidification (latent) capacity by the terminal unit.
Solution: Select the dedicated OA unit to dehumidify OA to a dew point that is low enough to offset the internal latent load (people, infiltration, etc.), allowing the terminal units to offset only sensible loads.
Let’s Talk Financing
With business ‘not as usual’ financing concerns are prevalent. Here's some good news!
The new CARES Act provides tax advantages for building upgrades. Read more.
Omnia-Partners cooperative purchasing finance vehicle streamlines not only new equipment, but energy and building services, as well. This includes rentals and contingency planning. Read more.
Local and state incentives are also available, such as PACE programs requiring 0% down and allows long payback periods, tax credits and accelerated depreciation benefits. Utility incentives for energy-efficient measures may also apply. Rebates and grants may also be available. Our experts will identify which options you are eligible for during a consultation and assessment of your needs. Contact us.
The president’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America (U.S. White House)
ASHRAE Standard 170-2017, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities (ASHRAE)
ASHE’s COVID-19 resources (American Society for Healthcare Engineering)
REHVA’s COVID-19 guidance (Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations)