Real-Time Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Data Drives Modern Building Management

J. Stamatakis
United States

Keywords: IAQ, sensors, BMS, COVID-19


COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) because the general public has become acutely aware, and concerned about, what they may be breathing. The current state of IAQ technology within “modern” buildings has brought little comfort. The Internet of Things (IoT) is advancing the state of art quickly. At the most basic level, the general public is short on confidence due to the lack of visibility into the quality of the air in public spaces. Real-time IAQ monitoring with public-facing cloud dashboards are only now starting to gain acceptance as a de facto type expectation being placed on building owners and operators. Having a clear view of the state of environmental conditions aligns with a key part of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reports that codify Health and Wellness programs for companies. Beyond corporate governance, IAQ monitoring plays an increasingly practical role in managing the operational efficiency of a building. This session will examine practical case studies that demonstrate the day-to-day utility of leveraging real-time IAQ data. A first case study examines the utility of real-time Particulate Matter (PM). The wild fires that continue in the Western U.S. are not confined in impact to that region. It is a coast-to-coast problem. Unhealthy air conditions due to those wild fires are being experienced in the Eastern U.S. as well. Real-time PM data is critical to governing the proper mix of outside air that enters into a building. Beyond that real-time PM data that measures particles at a sub-micron level is key to examining the operational efficiency of increasingly common MERV 13-15 air filters. Without sub-micron PM data, it would be impossible to verify the efficiency of MERV 13-15 air filters in filtering out sub-micron particle sizes. A second case study examines the utility of real-time ion data in examining the efficacy of NeedlePoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) systems. Notwithstanding recent NPBI controversy, the challenge is the same. As is well known, the CDC stated that “[c]onsumers should request efficacy performance data that quantitively demonstrates a clear protective benefit under conditions consistent with those for which the consumer is intending to apply the technology.” Real-time ion level data along with real-time PM and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) data can be examined in combination to begin to answer the key efficacy question on the minds of NPBI consumers today. These case studies and others will highlight the utility of capturing real-time IAQ data from the physical environment. Illuminating the hidden reality of real-time airborne conditions will provide key decision makers with the data needed to not only numerically assess levels of airborne pollutants, but also leverage such real-time data in managing key HVAC system infrastructures within buildings. Key IoT technologies will be reviewed in capturing real-time data used to drive customized real-time analytics and KPIs that should form the standard of any building’s operational dashboard.