4 Methods for Superior Air Filtration – Amenities Administration … – FacilitiesNet


If a full-scale capital HVAC enchancment is not within the funds, think about these 4 filtration-enhancement choices to stop the unfold of the coronavirus.

Earlier than, past, and along with an HVAC improve, constructing house owners and operators could discover it each vital and helpful to specify filtration enhancements to stop the unfold of COVID-19, Legionella, and different airborne sicknesses. These could also be employed because of value, in lieu of an even bigger capital mission, or instituted quickly forward of a capital improve to facilitate protected tenant move-in. Like all applied sciences and gear, filtration enhancements are topic to each correct specification and set up. 

Think about the next filtration-enhancement choices when vital: 

1. Transportable air purification items. Transportable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration packing containers carry the advantages of hospital-grade filtration to a facility with out having to completely redesign the HVAC system. Business-grade air purifiers with ionization and ultraviolet (UV) are dependable and will be rolled right into a convention room or workplace house throughout a pandemic or flu season with out the numerous prices or disruption of a capital improve.

As a result of transportable HEPA filtration packing containers resemble a transportable air con unit, they supply an extra psychological profit to tenants that behind-the-scenes HVAC upgrades don’t — they are often seen, touched, and heard. The con? Upkeep personnel should now be educated on how you can change out pricey HEPA filters utilizing correct procedures. 

2. Improved filtration. Whereas a commercial-grade air dealing with unit (AHU) can’t push or pull air by a 99.6 p.c environment friendly HEPA filter – hospitals have higher-pressure HVAC techniques – many will be tailored to deal with a MERV 13 or larger filter. MERV 13-18 filters — the latter is slightly below a HEPA in effectiveness — have the flexibility to seize as much as 75 p.c of airborne pathogens. Growing filter effectivity to the utmost allowable in your AHU with MERV 13 filters can also be necessary for LEED credit. 

3. Bipolar ionization. This central filtration system is put in on the constructing’s AHU and works by sending ions with a optimistic or damaging cost into the air, inflicting small particles to cluster into bigger particles to make them simpler to seize in filters or HEPA vacuum cleaners. The ionization course of additionally deactivates pathogens (together with SARS-CoV-2 primarily based on laboratory evaluation) by hydrolysis. Additional research is warranted, however the preliminary outcomes are promising relating to frequent pathogens just like the flu and chilly viruses that trigger absenteeism for corporations. You will need to get the proper ionization product to your constructing, as some merchandise may cause an elevated ozone focus within the house, inflicting respiratory reactions in people. 

4. Germicidal UV. Germicidal UV-C wavelengths are extraordinarily efficient at killing pathogens by destroying the outer protein layer of the pathogen, rendering it inactive. The issue is that UV-C gentle can also be harmful to people and is understood to trigger most cancers, scramble our DNA, and harm the corneas of our eyes. Most commercially accessible merchandise focused for disinfection are designed to kill pathogens on a floor, not within the air. For example, UV-C techniques are employed in hospitals and plenty of industrial processes to disinfect gear and merchandise and in important areas when individuals are not current. Using UV-C in a industrial workplace surroundings is a special matter. The techniques have to be able to offering a steadiness between dose and length whereas sustaining the protection of people in occupied areas. Alternatively, utilizing a UV-C air stream cleaner with its excessive depth will be extraordinarily efficient. These techniques require massive quantities of power to function, which can be a problem for a typical constructing’s central AHU’s electrical distribution to deal with. Additionally, cautious concerns have to be made to guard the constructing’s upkeep personnel. 

Evaluating all of it 

Figuring out whether or not your facility is able to tackle a serious capital mission or which of the above filtration choices is greatest to your facility because it repopulates is a problem, as the way forward for most industrial services is unknown. 

As a substitute, deal with what you do know. Consider what present and potential tenants need, together with what forms of probably smaller and more healthy areas they wish to come again to. Keep in mind to have in mind the present facility and its distinctive traits and parameters — i.e., the present state of the HVAC system, chiller/boiler plant, air filtration system and its capability for upgrades. As soon as there are some solutions, dare to go down the street of making a plan to your HVAC techniques and what potentialities could also be at play. 

Usually, the moments that appear to have the largest unknowns may very well present constructing house owners and operators with an open plan to dream up what’s subsequent. 

David P. Callan, P.E., CEM, LEED AP, HBDP, QCxP, is senior vp of McGuire Engineers in Chicago. 

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