Some estimates place the cost of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) to the United States' economy at $200 Billion in today’s dollars. In the age of COVID-19, good IAQ as we have known it is no longer enough.
As those of us in the building management and maintenance field prepare to “re-open” buildings, the health and safety of our tenants, guests, patients, staff and residents remains top-of-mind. Soon the general public will leave the comfort and safety of their homes where they have been limiting human contact for weeks, and venture out into the world with other people.
We must be prepared for them so they can feel safe when returning to shop, work and play in “the new normal.”
Nothing about building maintenance will be normal – perhaps for quite a while. Every commercial building in the US and probably in most industrial nations, is now taking – or should be taking – extra precautions to ensure safety. People should feel safe going back to work, and building owners and managers must enact measures to both ensure safety and prevent, or at least minimize, potential litigation.
Having worked in the HVAC optimization and wellness field for the last 15 years, I have never seen a better opportunity to have a long overdue discussion about how our mechanical systems direct and drive building wellness. The current worldwide focus on halting the spread of COVID-19 has brought this topic to a level of urgent action.
Why are green buildings better? According to the US Green Building Council (USGBC), a green building can have the following impact:
One of the best ways to achieve optimal environmental and financial results from greening your building is “Greening the HVAC.” There are basically three things to consider when looking to improve the efficiency of your building’s HVAC.