Healthy Air Episode #14

Episode #14
Industrial Hygiene Technology Innovation | Jacob Persky

In this episode, Jacob talks about applying control mechanisms in a tightly controlled environment and industrial hygiene technology innovation. He also discusses how the world has changed as a result of the pandemic and what to look for when returning to the office.

Jacob Persky is the principal and co-founder at RHP Risk Management. He is an environmental consultant with 20 years of experience as an industrial hygienist. He considers himself to be an exposure scientist and specializes in helping clients to contextually understand and manage health risks from exposures to hazardous substances. Jacob holds a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University, a BS degree in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois, and is a board-certified Industrial Hygienist. His work has taken him to many diverse work settings in the fields of semiconductor manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, railroading, healthcare, facilities management, and oil and gas, and in interesting locations throughout the US and abroad to Mexico, Australia, Brazil, and Bolivia.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Jacob’s background [1:03]
  • Jacob’s motivation to start RHP [2:48]
  • RHP’s Mission [3:38]
  • Types of exposures that Jacob is analyzing [4:25]
  • Understand the nature of the airborne pathogen transmission risk COVID-19 [6:49]
  • Building safety: what should commercial building owners do [8:55]
  • Building safety: what should health care facilities do [10:45]
  • Building safety: what should tenants and employees do [11:54]
  • Environmental consultants role [15:01]
  • Performance and operation of HVAC [17:03]
  • Building safety: what should insurers do [18:17]
  • Building safety: what should legal compliance officers do [20:00]
  • Infection control ventilation compliance requirements regulations [21:02]
  • Jacob’s advice for ensuring regulations compliance [26:11]
  • Jacob’s grade to the entire public health practice [26:59]
  • Jacob’s opinion on having certificates to ensure public health and safety [29:48]
  • Jacob’s predictions on technology innovation [32:43]
  • How RHP stays on top of the market pulse [34:00]

RESOURCES:

QUOTES:

Our mission is to provide exposure science and risk assessment solutions to advance public health by helping clients make informed decisions to differentiate concepts of hazard and risk.”

“We understand the pathogen vectors and the control mechanisms for reducing exposure potential. These principles of infection control have been practiced in hospitals for many years.”

Whether you’re selecting a proven technology or an emerging technology, it’s really important to test, validate and develop data that demonstrates why your building is now safer.”

Post-pandemic, insurance companies need to get creative and find ways to differentiate their high-risk policyholders from their low-risk policyholders.”

“To ensure compliance, do something and document it. The worst thing you can do with this pandemic is to not do anything and claim that you didn’t know better.”

“We’re in the age of genomics and personalized data and microsensors. In the future, we’ll shift to an integrated approach to understanding exposures and personalized risk.”

The world has changed forever as a result of the pandemic. It’s exciting to see industrial hygiene jargon go mainstream with a broadened awareness about the importance of healthy air.”

COVID-19 Implications of the Physical Interaction of Artificial Fog on Respiratory Aerosols

Written by Matthew Loss, Mark Katchen, Ilan Arvelo, Phil Arnold, Mona Shum

This content originally appeared on Medwin Publishers.  Access it here.

Positioning For Growth In The Healthy Buildings Technology Market

Report by Verdantix | June 2021
Excerpts provided by SafeTraces

SafeTraces is excited to have been included in a recent report by Verdantix, an independent market research leader, which highlights how Healthy Buildings have emerged as a major trend in the Smart Buildings market.

According to Verdanitx: “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in healthy buildings has increased dramatically amongst employers and building technology providers, and as a result, is emerging as a major trend in the smart buildings market. This report examines the existing and emerging drivers that are propelling the trend for healthy buildings today, provides an overview of the technology landscape, offers vendors advice about capitalizing on this trend, and predicts the future direction. Smart building technology vendors should use this report to inform their healthy buildings product development and go-to-market strategies.”

Verdantix includes that:

“Even before the pandemic, there was growing evidence highlighting the business benefits of healthier buildings. For example, research conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that doubling the standard specified indoor ventilation rate of 20 cubic feet per minute per person increased employee cognitive function, equivalent to a salary increase of $6,500 per employee per year. Healthy buildings also have the potential to add value for asset owners. A 2020 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study found that in the US, healthy buildings achieve a rental premium of between 4.4% and 7.7% more per square foot than similar nearby non-certified and non-registered properties.”

“Real estate and human resources (HR) executives are starting to deploy indoor environmental sensors to gauge the effectiveness of new ventilation strategies and give employees peace of mind about the health of their workplaces. Firms are primarily looking to monitor IAQ, but other metrics, such as lighting, noise and temperature, are also important, to ensure occupant comfort. In our 2020 global survey, we found that 59% of real estate executives are already planning new investment in air quality sensors and analytics, to gain visibility on air quality[…] SafeTraces and UL offer services for verifying IAQ and the performance of HVAC systems.”

 

Verdantix subscribers can access the full report here.

 

SafeTraces delivers veriDART®, the market-leading solution for verifying safe indoor airflow. If you have any questions about how veriDART verifies engineering controls and HVAC performance for airborne pathogens to keep people safe in any indoor environment, reach out to us today.

Healthy Air Episode #13

Episode #13
Innovation in Indoor Air Quality | Marwa Zaatari

In this episode, Marwa talks about the innovation in air quality and how it took a pandemic to start discussions about indoor air quality. She also discusses the struggle to fix air quality in schools and how parents need to hold schools accountable. Marwa encourages listeners to challenge their schools and ask them about ventilation, filtration, and air cleaning.

Dr. Marwa Zaatari is Chief Science Officer at D ZINE Partners and Co-chair of enVerid Systems’ advisory board. She leads the research and development of “Air as a Service” around heat exchanger coils, ventilation, filtration, and indoor air quality measurements. Her work continues to advance building science methods and assessing performance-based procedures to design and operate buildings to optimize energy and people efficiency. Zaatari has extensive experience in quantifying the transport of indoor air pollutants, building energy environmental management, and assessing performance-based procedures of HVAC ventilation and air cleaning. Zaatari earned a Ph.D. in Architectural and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on the built environment and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, with a focus on energy management. Zaatari is a board member at the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and has been an ASHRAE distinguished lecturer and a member of several ASHRAE Committees, including the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force and a voting member of Standard 62.1.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Marwa’s background [1:00]
  • D ZINE Partners’ mission and focus [6:57]
  • What motivated Marwa to be active in USGBC and ASHRAE [9:50]
  • How the pandemic started the discussion about indoor air quality [12:44]
  • COVID: the mode of transmission [15:28]
  • The use of electronic air cleaning equipment in buildings [18:06]
  • Marwa’s sense of the science over a year into the pandemic [23:50]
  • The struggle to fix air quality in schools [30:14]
  • Marwa’s predictions of the future’s popular and vital technologies [33:50]
  • D ZINE Partners’ areas of innovation [36:43]
  • Marwa’s predictions on building changes in the next ten years [39:26]
  • How D ZINE Partners stays on top of the market pulse [41:48]

Resources:

QUOTES:

“My biggest worry is that schools will spend all of their money and still not have good air quality in their schools.”

“There’s a big gap between disease prevention and having healthy buildings. It took a pandemic to start discussions about indoor air quality.”

“It sounds small, but making a change to standards is extremely impactful to the world.”

“The main mode of transmission of COVID is the airborne route.”

“There is finally a call for air to be safe, just like we expect our food and water to be safe.”

“The last thing you want is to implement a solution for air quality and then, later on, discover you can’t maintain it due to costs.”

“Parents need to be involved in holding schools accountable. Challenge your schools and ask them about ventilation, filtration, and air cleaning.”

ASPIRE (Alliance for Sustainable & Practical IAQ in RE) Launches

New Consortium “Alliance for Sustainable & Practical IAQ in Real Estate” (ASPIRE) Launches, Provides Framework for Measurable, Sustainable Indoor Air Quality

Founding members include Awair, Clockworks Analytics, enVerid Systems, SafeTraces, and System2 Consulting

Boston, MA – June 14, 2021– Five leading indoor air quality (IAQ) organizations announced today the formation of a new consortium, the Alliance for Sustainable & Practical IAQ in Real Estate (ASPIRE), with the goal of helping commercial and institutional buildings sustainably achieve indoor air quality. ASPIRE aims to encourage a more comprehensive, performance-based and data-driven approach to IAQ for building owners, managers and operators. The founding consortium members include Awair, Clockworks Analytics, enVerid Systems, SafeTraces, and System2 Consulting.

“ASPIRE’s founding members share a vision that buildings should provide a positive occupant experience, promote health and safety, and operate efficiently and sustainably; and we believe that IAQ is an intrinsic component of all three of these objectives,” said Aaron Lapsley, Principal & Founder of System2 Consulting. “Despite widespread claims in the marketplace, we know that there is no easy-button, silver-bullet solution that will fully address IAQ in every building. Instead, ASPIRE aims to encourage a performance-based framework that will help building stakeholders make well-informed decisions and implement practical solutions for achieving healthy air quality in a manner that minimizes or eliminates the trade-offs with energy efficiency.”

As part of its charter, ASPIRE will provide market education on leading practices related to indoor air quality and its intersection with sustainability. ASPIRE’s framework addresses five objectives:

  1. Monitor and improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and ventilation systems
  2. Measure and reduce pathogen transmission and illness risk
  3. Reduce energy costs and carbon emissions
  4. Demonstrate success and leadership through certification
  5. Direct investment to the highest value opportunities and solutions

Nexus Labs, a smart building industry community, media and education group that publishes podcasts and newsletters on smart building technology, will introduce ASPIRE on the first episode of its new monthly broadcast series on June 16th at 11am ET. Hosted by James Dice, Nexus Labs’ founder, the webinar “A Data Driven Approach to IAQ” will feature a discussion of the consortium’s vision, goals, and framework. Register for the free webinar here.

“We look forward to a discussion with these five companies and expert IAQ voices that cuts through the hype to offer insights on how to make indoor environmental quality as measurable and actionable as energy and water usage in a building,” said James Dice, Founder, Nexus Labs. “Organizations are eager for an approach that mitigates pathogens and contaminants of concern such as CO2, VOCs, PM2.5, and where IAQ data can be tracked, shared and acted upon, in a context that meets ESG goals.”

“Every day our team at AirRated sees firsthand the benefits of using data to drive decisions for building design and operation to deliver good indoor air quality,” said Francesca Brady, CEO of AirRated. “Our AirScore certification serves as the quantitative benchmark against best practice guidance for IAQ. In many cases it also acts as validation of investment in building systems and clean air technologies/products that aim to create healthy, productive spaces that occupants of the built environment deserve. This data point has been a kitemark both for prospective and current building users to refer to when looking to understand the quality of indoor air in buildings. We are witnessing the industry shift its focus to performance-based certifications and standards, with tangible, meaningful and actionable results. That is why I am happy to support the ASPIRE consortium in their goal of promoting and educating the industry on a more comprehensive and information-first approach to improving and maintaining good indoor air quality.”

“Post-pandemic, the real-estate industry has learned it needs to shift rapidly towards performance-based air quality standards, measured all day, every day,” said Raefer Wallis, Founder of RESET. “Achieving this will require close collaboration between solution providers that can deliver measurable air quality results, without losing sight of global climate goals. This is exactly what ASPIRE was formed to achieve and we hope it will have a much much-needed catalyzing effect across the industry.”

Awair

“Our mission at Awair is to ensure everyone can breathe safely anywhere indoors,” said Dustin DeVan, CEO of Awair. “IAQ requires management on a real-time basis, as well as having the insights and integrations to address issues quickly. We are excited to join such a collaborative team to democratize air data and to ensure people’s safety, particularly as indoor air matters now more so than ever post-pandemic.”

Clockworks Analytics

“Increased awareness of the critical role of IAQ on building and occupant health – coupled with a proliferation of IAQ solutions, standards, and data collection over the past year – has resulted in a large education gap,” said Alex Grace, VP of Business Development at Clockworks Analytics. “We are excited to join with leaders in the building performance and IAQ space through ASPIRE and share our expertise in fault detection and diagnostics in order to help consumers make more informed IAQ decisions in their buildings.”

enVerid Systems 

“There has long been a tension between achieving indoor air quality goals and energy efficiency and sustainability goals,” said Christian Weeks, CEO of enVerid Systems. “Buildings now need to solve for both. Working as part of ASPIRE we hope to educate building owners and operators on the opportunities to adopt performance-based design standards and advanced filtration solutions to enable healthy and sustainable buildings.”

SafeTraces

“The global pandemic has put a spotlight on the critical importance of IAQ to public health, as well as the insufficiency of our current paradigm for IAQ systems, regulations, and standards in public buildings,” said Erik Malmstrom, CEO of SafeTraces. “SafeTraces is thrilled to join forces with the most innovative technology companies in the built environment and to leverage our technology for advancing performance-based, data-driven metrics for combatting indoor respiratory infection.”

This post originally appeared on aspireiaq.com. Read it here.

Healthy Air Episode #12

Episode #12
Operating in a New Normal | Paul de la Port

In this episode, Paul talks about taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and gives advice on selecting an air cleaning system. He also speaks about upgrading aging HVAC systems and choosing the right level of coverage. Lastly, he discusses Omni CleanAir’s two business segments, their response to COVID, and how their culture is built on learning.

Paul de la Port is the President of Omni CleanAir. Since 1988, their solutions have been deployed to high-stakes applications, keeping people safe from some of the most dangerous airborne pollutants and pathogens. Omni CleanAir’s range of industrial-grade air purification solutions have resulted in 10s of 1000s of installs in the US and abroad. They are used in healthcare facilities for infection control, facilities affected by wildfires, for nuclear facility maintenance and decommissioning, and for hazardous environmental remediation and abatement. He’s held executive roles with companies including Danaher, GE, and Dresser. His last corporate role was President of Fluke’s Industrial and Digital Systems businesses.

Paul is passionate about leading breakthrough innovation and strategic transformations, hands-on product leadership, and commercial execution.
Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Paul’s background [1:01]
  • The scope and scale of the Omni CleanAir business [4:34]
  • How Omni CleanAir’s solutions differentiate from their competition [10:32]
  • The air purification industry as a whole is 50 to 75% illegitimate [13:01]
  • The types of customers and partners which are most strategic [15:43]
  • The right level of coverage for a facility with multiple floors [17:16]
  • Paul’s predictions of the demand for air purification solutions in the next ten years [19:38]
  • Paul’s take on the indoor air quality discussion and level of general prioritization in the US [21:28]
  • Paul and Omni CleanAir’s COVID-19 experience [22:31]
  • How Omni CleanAir stays on top of the market pulse [23:43]

Resources:

QUOTES:

We’re energized by working on a purposeful problem. And I think this is really going to matter, as buildings and companies figure out how to operate in a new normal.”

“We’re not a COVID company because there’s been a need since before COVID.”

“When the stakes are this high, why would you take the chance?”

“Our products do what they say they do, are backed up by data, are grounded in proven technologies, and we’re very transparent about that.”

“Omni CleanAir’s goal is to bring 30 years of technology know-how, experience, and applications to everyday workspaces without the need for professional expertise and installation.”

“If you can’t understand the specifications or the claims, and those claims can’t be backed up by data in plain English. That’s a red flag!”

Healthy Air Episode #11

Episode #11
Enhancing the Intelligence of Buildings | Tyler Smith

In this episode, Tyler Smith shares the services Johnson Controls offer and the benefits of operating a healthy building. He talks about Johnson Controls’ overall business unit and offerings compared to other healthy buildings. Lastly, he discusses how they help deliver on the clean air delivery rate and infection control objectives, and how Johnson Controls explains ROI to their customers.

Tyler Smith is the Executive Director of Healthy Buildings at Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings. Tyler has spent over 15 years with Johnson Controls and held roles focused on leveraging building management systems and HVAC equipment to drive important outcomes such as improvements, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality. From 2018 to 2020, Tyler led Johnson Controls’ Critical Environments business unit, which designs and manufactures systems for critical spaces, such as hospitals and laboratories. Since Spring 2020, Tyler has been instrumental in leading Johnson Controls’ COVID-19 response with a focus on helping our customers open and operate healthy buildings.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Tyler’s background [1:18]
  • The scope and scale of Johnson Controls’ business [3:30]
  • Services offered under healthy buildings and Johnson Controls [5:15]
  • Johnson Controls’ overall business unit and offerings compared to other healthy buildings [7:15]
  • Key milestones and strategies for healthy buildings at Johnson Controls [10:14]
  • The foundations of clean air within Johnson Controls [13:15]
  • Clean air delivery rate [16:21]
  • How costs and ROI are explained to customers [18:36]
  • Customers’ feedback [21:16]
  • Johnson Controls’ partnerships [25:15]
  • The most valuable technologies today and future predictions [27:41]
  • Tyler’s predictions of buildings’ evolution in the next 10 years [29:29]
  • How Johnson Controls stays on top of the market pulse [31:00]

Resources:

QUOTES:

I think what has kept me in the game and kept me so engaged and excited about working for Johnson Controls is how on the bleeding edge of our industry our company has stayed.”

“The pandemic forced us to rethink and acknowledge the opportunity and responsibility we have to leverage the vast capabilities and services in our healthy buildings business segment.”

“We’re not just trying to sell our clients a HEPA filter or a UV light. We’re there to arm in arm partner with them to understand what’s going on within their building.”

“We’re finding that being very outward in their advertisement and marketing of those healthy building investments that they’re making is important to nearly all of our clients.”

“Using infection control science, we educate clients and help customers understand what to do, how to do it, and ensure the health, safety, and wellness of their stakeholders.”

“We see a digitally connected building as really key to helping our customers unlock the full value of operating a healthy building.”

Ventilation in Residential Care Environments

Project led by Dr. Kevin Grosskopf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with contributions from Roger Lautz, P.E. of Affiliated Engineers Incorporated, Phil Arnold of SafeTraces, Dr. Ehsan Mousavi-Rizi of Clemson University, and Dr. Josephine Lau of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. 

This content originally appeared on nrel.gov. Access it here.

Healthy Air Episode #10

Episode #10
Building Better Buildings Together | Vicki Worden

In this episode, Vicki Worden talks about one of Green Building Initiative’s signature programs, the Green Globes certification. She explains how it stands apart from other building certification programs, its cost, and its scoring system. She also shares how health and wellness are incorporated in what GBI offers and how they helped clients in response to the pandemic.

Vicki Worden is the President and CEO of the Green Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making buildings healthy places to live and work while reducing their impacts on the environment. GBI makes aspirational goals achievable through user-friendly tools built upon comprehensive standards and supported by outstanding staff and expert assessors. GBI has third-party certified 1000s of buildings across North America. Its Green Globes certification and Guiding Principles Compliance verification program support every building situation, from individual buildings with sole owners to some of the largest corporate and government portfolio owners in the world, including the Department of Defense in both the US and Canada.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Vicki’s background [1:23]
  • Overview of GBI’s mission, priorities, reach, and structure [4:31]
  • Green Globes certification program [6:07]
  • GBI’s scoring system [10:54]
  • How GBI reconciled sustainability, health, wellness, and its standards during the pandemic [14:45]
  • Challenges in 2021 [17:54]
  • GBI’s future direction [20:01]
  • GBI’s concerns and discussions [21:59]
  • The changes Vicki foresees over the next ten years [24:37]
  • What technologies move the needle of GBI’s mission [26:39]
  • How Vicki stays on top of the pulse and the bleeding edge of the market [28:14]
  • Vicki’s thoughts on the industry moving to gender equity [30:54]

Resources:

QUOTES:

“The Green Building Initiative’s mission is really straightforward. We’re focused on improving the built environment and reducing climate impacts.”

“In the last few years, we have much better data on how green buildings are performing on all measures from tenant satisfaction and retainment to occupant health and investor value.”

“Our process has been proven to streamline the certification process by removing cost and time hassles that are traditionally associated with green building certification.”

“We have about 400,000 square feet of certified space under the GBI umbrella today in both the US and Canada and beyond.”

“Within 12-18 months, we’ll be operational in Mexico, Central and South America, and Europe. Within three years, Green Globes and our tools will be available in four different languages.”

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