Commercial Real Estate Focus on Air Quality and Clean Air Technology
From healthcare to retail to offices, commercial real estate buildings house the heart of productive commerce, and the employees who work in them. Increasingly, professionals in commercial leasing are prioritizing the health, safety and wellness of building occupants. What may have started as an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 pandemic is fast becoming business as usual. One of the most powerful solutions being implemented, and one for which commercial real estate building owners are directly responsible, is clean air initiatives.
Read on to learn more about the research behind new clean air technology, and be equipped with health and safety practices that ensure peace of mind.
Air Quality for Healthier and Safer Commercial Spaces
The commercial real estate industry was undoubtedly disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. As experts scrambled to dedensify office spaces and enact new cleaning and social distancing procedures, one issue took center stage: air quality. In the last 50 years, widespread issues such as occupational allergies led to standard practices in radon testing, mandatory carbon monoxide alarms, and air quality ratings. The latter is a topic that has become even more studied, and researchers have found that certain types of high-quality, multi-stage air cleaning technology has the power to remove bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and allergens from the air. What’s more, certain clean air technologies and advanced air ionization can deactivate viruses like the coronavirus.
Movements like the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative showcase building owners’ ongoing commitment to health-oriented building changes, many of which are here to stay. The air quality in buildings is not only a point of interest, it’s a selling point that shows a landlord’s attention and care to tenants.
What is Air Quality in Office Buildings?
While many systems exist to test for specific components in indoor air — such as radon, carbon monoxide, or other gases — indoor air quality is impacted by numerous factors. These include housekeeping chemicals, pesticide applications, occupants activities, and even furnishings that can release toxins into the air. The importance of air quality in office buildings is underscored by the delineation of “Sick Building Syndrome.” Similar to Building Related Illness, Sick Building Syndrome is often related to indoor environmental factors, including poor indoor air quality, and results in fatigue, headaches, throat irritation, and more.
Odors, mold, cleanliness, and chemicals are often connected to Sick Building Syndrome and related occupant discomfort. The first step building owners can take is to test indoor air quality. There are simple tests that can be purchased online, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency has simple remediation techniques that work for most spaces. These include monitoring the presence of things like mold, combustion pollutants, or secondhand smoke. The EPA also recommends improving indoor air through humidifier controls, controlling pollution sources, and changing filters in HVAC systems.
Clean Air Technology: Needlepoint Bi-Polar Ionization
New clean air technology is the key to effectively mitigating risk and purifying indoor air. The cutting-edge solution now attracting wide scale adoption is needlepoint bi-polar ionization. Ionic clean air technology offers an ozone-free air purification option that leverages chemical reactions, effectively removing bacteria, viruses, and VOCs from the air.
Needlepoint bi-polar ionization technology neutralizes ions in the air. Through an HVAC attachment, charged ions are circulated through the air in a building. As the ions disperse, the form bonds with particulates. These particulates cluster together and any harmful elements they contain are effectively filtered out. This cycle continues as the HVAC functions, ensuring a steady stream of clean air.
This prioritization is catching on, and as companies support a safe return to the office, employees are breathing easier in buildings with clean air.
In a Health-First Era: Clean Air Matters
Landlords are making strategic investments in cleaner air, both for the security of current tenants and to attract new ones. The health and safety of a building is a high priority for new office lessees. In the world of commercial real estate, it is vital to listen to the needs of people. For many, indoor air quality is a growing point of concern, and one that can impact their decision to sign on the dotted line.