2020: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Becomes Priority #1 in Commercial Buildings

Published 12/22/2020
By Doug Engel
The Times of Israel image: Microsoft's new campus in Herzliya, Israel, inaugurated in November 2020 (Amit Geron)

enVerid indoor air treatmentAs we come to the close of this unprecedented year, we are reflecting on how Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), the subject at the heart of our scientific and commercial focus for a decade, has been elevated to the built environment’s utmost priority.

Our expertise in keeping the air we breathe in commercial spaces safe and healthy, and doing so while reducing costs and energy expenditures, has kept enVerid at the forefront of discussions on IAQ and the pandemic these past few months. Buoyed by hope that vaccines are enabling the beginning of the end of the virus’ hold on us, we continue to advance IAQ solutions, while also redoubling our focus on addressing our next collective goal: lowering carbon emissions from commercial buildings. We are uniquely positioned to address these challenges. During a Clean Fight NY meeting with NYC-based MEPs, facility managers and building owners, enVerid was heralded for being “at the nexus of what is next: achieving energy savings and carbon reduction while addressing COVID-19 and indoor air quality.”

Throughout the year, our executive team and advisory board members have contributed to the industry by hosting webinars with ASHRAE experts, delivering new open-source tools, and sharing our expertise.

As we wrap up this challenging year our focus on indoor air quality, saving money and lowering energy usage and GHG emissions has kept us in the news. We would like to highlight a few recent articles:

The BBC covered the importance of IAQ and called out enVerid for our innovative sorbent-based solution.

ACHR News continues to be at the forefront of critical HVAC topics. The publication covered our webinar series featuring ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force leaders Dr. Bill Bahnfleth, Luke Leung, and Dr. Marwa Zaatari. And in a December article, it covered ASHRAE’s revised Building Readiness guidelines, highlighting an important white paper co-authored by one of enVerid’s founders, Israel Biran, and quoting our CEO, Christian Weeks.

Facility Executive December 2020 coverFacility Executive published my article on “IAQ and the Pandemic” which looks at risk, energy use, and carbon impacts of COVID-19 mitigation strategies for commercial HVAC systems in its important December issue devoted to HVAC and IAQ.

In November, we shared with the industry a first-of-its-kind tool to help building engineers more effectively evaluate the risk, costs and carbon impact of implementing various HVAC COVID-19 mitigation strategies. The enVerid COVID-19 Energy Estimator was co-developed with our Advisory Board member Dr. Marwa Zaatari. Retrofit Magazine and Engineered Systems were among the many publications alerting their readers of the availability of the free estimator. The tool has been quickly embraced, and we are hearing interesting anecdotes of how it has been helpful in showing the cost deltas between different ventilation/filtration approaches, enabling better informed decision-making. One example: a large campus with hundreds of HVAC systems dramatically shifted its planned HVAC mitigation strategy following the important insights gleaned from their Energy Estimator analysis.

The Times of Israel image: Microsoft's new campus in Herzliya, Israel, inaugurated in November 2020 (Amit Geron)
Image from The Times of Israel: Microsoft’s new campus in Herzliya, Israel, inaugurated in November 2020 (Amit Geron)

Forward-looking states and giant tech innovators who have staked out leadership roles in driving down carbon emissions while lowering operating and energy costs have taken note of our award-winning HVAC Load Reduction® technology. We are honored to be among the first cohort selected by Clean Fight NY and backed by NYSERDA to rapidly scale proven carbon-reducing solutions for New York’s commercial buildings.

And we are thrilled to be a key component of “the greenest building in Israel,” Microsoft’s new campus in Herzliya.  According to The Times of Israel, it is the first building in the nation to achieve LEED V4 Gold certification.

It is our earnest hope that in 2021 we can largely put the pandemic in our rearview mirror, but we are convinced that the new scrutiny on IAQ will remain a top priority. Buildings must pandemic-proof their environments for potential new viruses and maximize energy efficiency to lower costs and energy expenditures while reducing GHG emissions. While we still are not out of the woods yet with COVID-19, enVerid is fighting this battle on many fronts and doing all we can to prepare for the next offensive as we seek to achieve our mission – clean, healthy air indoors and out.

All our best for a healthy and productive 2021.

Doug Engel

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