How to develop a plan to create healthier indoor air quality and how best to execute it...
First, we all need to recognize that the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that we all need to strengthen our resilience to pandemics and other health and environmental emergencies.
Second, businesses, medical facilities, and governmental agencies must acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the reality of workplace safety and corresponding industry standards.
Third, employers face dramatically different workplace challenges and resulting new obligations regarding safety precautions and worker protections. New research from the IBM Institute for Business Value shows that business leaders are now prioritizing workforce safety and security, cost management, and enterprise agility. It is imperative that organizations react in real time—that is, now—to navigate this new environmental challenge.
To that end, businesses, medical facilities, and governmental agencies must determine if their buildings have adequate engineering and administrative controls to promote a safe environment to protect the health and well-being of their employees, patients, students, customers, and the public.
Once your organization has made that important determination and a commitment to meet the challenge, the next step is to partner with a team that can work hand-in-hand with you to create your plan of action. Sterile Safe Solutions is that partner.
With Sterile Safe Solutions by your side, our initial engagement with your team will be a fact-finding mission. We need to understand your facility’s unique Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) variables, the obstacles that we can navigate around, and the obstacles that cannot be moved. There are many examples of questions we will ask during this discovery process. Some of them include:
What is the form factor and quantity of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems that support your occupied spaces? Are these large Air Handling Units (AHU), distributed Roof Top Units (RTU), a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system, or a mix? A facility mechanical schedule is very helpful for this discovery exercise.
Identifying these form factors determines the type and size of technology assets we can deploy for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) improvement (mitigating bacterial/viral pathogens, reducing fine particulate, filtering gaseous contaminants, addressing mold/mildew potential, etc).
This also identifies areas in which we can introduce energy saving technologies and strategies to reduce building operational costs and mechanical costs.
What is the efficiency of the media filters currently being used in these Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems?
Effective filtration of small particulate is a critical initiative in achieving improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Many systems in use today utilize insufficient filtration and are inadequate in this regard. This must be remedied in one fashion or another.
What is your occupancy in the spaces supported by each specific Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system - and for what hours of the day?
For instances where other methods of effective air change strategy can be considered (as opposed to excess outdoor air), occupancy is a variable that factors into the equations. We’ll need to know how many people occupy the various spaces and for how long?
What is the status of your outdoor air ventilation system? How is it structured and utilized?
Is there active control or manual setting of dampers? Is it a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) or a damper system in the Roof Top Units (RTU) or Air Handler Unit (AHU)? What is your actual, current air changeover rate? (how many air changes an hour in the space?)
Do you currently monitor your indoor air quality and have trending data available? (do you have an indoor air quality monitoring system installed in your facility?)
Do you have an Indoor Air Quality Procedure (IAQP) in place?
This can answer many questions quickly and easily and demonstrate the impact of the (4) seasons on your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
What is the quality of your Outdoor air? Is your outdoor air quality an asset to your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), or a detriment to it?
Does your climate heavily impact Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) costs with introduction of increased outdoor air (Very hot, very cold, very humid)? Are you in a more urban location where particulate, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)’s, and other airborne contaminants are dense? Are you located near an airport or manufacturing district? Is your geographic area prone to wildfire?
After documenting this information, a walk-through of your facility will be required. We need to understand how the architecture and construction of the indoor spaces impacts the introduction of our Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) improvement products. As we walk the spaces, we will discuss with your team what physically needs to be done to introduce the equipment and how the installation will look and function when complete.
After the initial discovery phase, the Sterile Safe Solutions team will compile a summary of our findings as well as our recommendations for improving your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and reducing your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) energy consumption costs. We will then sit down with you to discuss the recommendations and answer any questions from your staff. If it is desired to take the next step in producing a turn-key proposal, Sterile Safe Solutions will coordinate a second set of walk throughs with licensed mechanical and electrical contractors for obtaining an installed estimate. We will also engage with consultants as required to complete the project permitting process and handle any structural analysis requirements.
Once the installation and engineering estimation is complete, Sterile Safe Solutions will provide a complete turn-key project proposal to you and your team for consideration. Upon acceptance, we will coordinate the start of work with your team and ensure the timely and accurate execution of work throughout the process. Lastly, we will ensure all pertinent members of your team are trained on the operation and maintenance requirements of your system.
Additionally, there is a wide range of other kinds of tools and technologies that can be deployed for unique environments. Our initial effort focuses on the Maximum Standard Base Package which is generally applicable to all indoor environments and can scale to any size.
We very much look forward to creating a unique solution for your operation or organization and please feel free to call us with any questions, thoughts or concerns and we can develop a creative solution for your unique environment.