Maintaining Optimal Commercial Indoor Air Quality for NYC Office Returns

In this post-pandemic world, indoor air quality (IAQ) has become the latest office amenity – because it has the potential to affect the health, well-being, and productivity of employees, IAQ is a key concern for companies, building managers, and renters alike.

In fact, the EPA estimates that 90 percent of waking hours for the average American are spent before a computer screen, with the majority of this population working in office buildings. What’s more, indoor pollution levels can sometimes be greater than those found outside. As a result, facility managers must work to maintain optimal IAQ levels to ensure safer, healthier workplaces for building occupants. 

The Importance of Optimal Indoor Air Quality for Commercial Buildings

Naturally, the inhalation of airborne pollutants into the lungs increases an individual’s likelihood of developing diseases. Consequently, poor indoor air quality can lead to workplace issues such as decreased productivity and higher amounts of missed workdays, problems that have the potential to cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in the most severe cases. 

Even the most well-managed commercial buildings can and do occasionally encounter bouts of poor interior air quality despite not having significant indoor air quality issues. Through routine commercial HVAC preventive maintenance involving regular system inspections, replacements, and repairs, these IAQ issues can be better managed – but that’s just the first step. To achieve better air quality for your commercial building in the long term, testing and monitoring is essential to ensuring greater visibility into the quality of your indoor air. Only then can the appropriate corrective actions be implemented. 

How to Achieve Better Indoor Air Quality for Commercial Buildings

Improving IAQ provides added peace of mind for all parties. When the air we breathe is cleaner, we feel healthier, happier, and more productive. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its dramatic effects on the ways in which Americans work, concerns over workplace safety have never been more prevalent.

As office occupancy rates rise, workers are becoming more aware of the quality of the air they breathe. To support our clients, our approach to IAQ improvement in commercial buildings is a three-pronged process involving testing, monitoring, and sustainment. 

Testing

Labs and proprietary methodologies are used to verify our findings on more than 30 health hazards in indoor environments. Through our partnership with Indoor Science, we test for a variety of chemical, biological, particulate, thermal stress, and noise hazards.

Monitoring

Among the risk factors we monitor are CO2, VOCs, and other particulate matter. By carefully monitoring levels of these harmful substances in commercial buildings, our team is better prepared to inform clients of areas where further lab testing could be beneficial. From there, our team can evaluate and advise on the appropriate corrective action for improved IAQ. 

Sustainment

To help you achieve greater indoor air quality for your commercial building, corrective actions including ventilation, filtration, remediation, and disinfection measures should be executed. These actions help address the root cause of risk factors and improve the overall air quality of a space. Below are a few of the specific solutions available to facility managers looking to implement more effective IAQ strategies for their commercial space:

  • Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, a method in which short wavelength ultraviolet light (UVC) is used to kill or inactivate microorganisms.
  • Bi-polar ionization, a method involving the release of charged atoms that attach to and deactivate harmful substances.
  • Photohydroionization is an advanced oxidation technology that safely eliminates viruses, bacteria, VOCs, mold  and odors that are found in the air and on surfaces inside buildings.

Ready to get started with improving the indoor air quality of your own commercial building? Contact the Donnelly team today to get started with building your own IAQ improvement plan.

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