A New Normal: Reinvent Your Space
The COVID-19 crisis has shown how susceptible humanity is to major, unprecedented, health and economic pitfalls. As we emerge from the pandemic, we must adapt and strategize to ensure a better response in the event of another outbreak. Businesses have taken a major hit during the pandemic – offices and public spaces either remain closed or are working below their usual capacities. As we transition towards less restrictive phases, building managers, tenants, and even homeowners must consider strategies that will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their spaces. A major way to enhance occupant wellbeing within a building is through the enhancement of indoor air quality. Viruses can be passed through a building’s HVAC system. It has never been more important to optimize the performance of your HVAC units and outfit them with right filters. MERV-13 filters have proved themselves effective in some buildings, so has other air cleaning strategies such as Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) and Bipolar Ionization (BPI). Although neither of these is 100% effective, they are still appropriate for new construction and retrofit applications to improve indoor air quality. Increasing the flux of outside air entering a space, and of inside air exhausted out of a space is also beneficial as it dilutes the concentration of contaminants in the space. Building managers should therefore consider increasing the ventilation in their spaces.