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As you are preparing your facilities for the return of your employees and tenants, many of the extra safety and cleaning steps you are taking can go unnoticed such as cleaning and upgrading your mechanical and air filtration systems, flushing the pipes, and implementing tougher cleaning protocols.
Imagine you’re walking down the office hallway. The lights suddenly flicker, then all the electricity shuts off. As you reach for your flashlight, your mind starts racing: What happened? The boss’ client is coming by in 30 minutes. How quickly can I fix this? I can’t mess this opportunity up for him.
The onset and trajectory of COVID-19 has forced us to reconsider indoor air quality (IAQ) strategies that have, until recently, been regarded as standard practice for the smart building industry. Enhanced indoor air quality is top of mind for facility managers and building owners in continuing to plan for the return of occupants, and many are making proactive upgrades and adjustments to their building automation systems (BAS) to continuously support a healthy environment.
Many Texans and Arizonans will return to the office in the coming weeks, but their workspaces may not look the same as they did before COVID-19 hit in February. Offices will be redesigned, some employees may work from home full-time, and the gears that keep the building running will have to adapt to these changes. Some companies will inspect their systems; others will upgrade them; and more will look for larger renovation/new construction options to better support their workforce.
As we continue to envision what the "new normal" will look like in the coming weeks, it is imperative to consider the impact that indoor air quality (IAQ) has on occupant health. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) "Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures."
Hospitals are bracing for the next wave of patients, maintenance is working overtime and leaders are trying to stay ahead of the curve. Healthcare facilities are currently preparing for unprecedented amounts of influx- and now is the time to make sure your critical systems are up to par.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the nation, more school campuses are resorting to alternative learning methods outside the classroom. Taking careful measures to defend against potential exposure has prompted an unprecedented amount of downtime within educational facilities.