It doesn’t matter what type of work you do or what kind of building you operate out of – every occupant in your facility needs to breathe quality air. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us that most Americans spend about 90% of their lives indoors. If the air inside your facility is polluted or stale, it can take a serious toll on people’s physical and mental well-being. As such, indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the most important measurements to consider at your facility.
Unfortunately, IAQ issues run rampant in various sectors throughout the U.S. According to The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), approximately half of all U.S. schools report less-than-optimal IAQ ratings. Here at The Budd Group, we’re well aware that IAQ problems aren’t limited to schools, however. Many of our clients – whether or not they were formerly aware of it – require some level of IAQ improvement, whether due to outdated HVAC systems, deteriorating infrastructure, or a lack of proper monitoring.
This widespread need for better, healthier indoor air prompted the creation of our BreatheWell program, a multi-faceted air purification protocol that combines state-of-the-art IAQ monitoring with air purification technology to improve, optimize, and manage the quality of air inside client facilities. IAQ monitors detect and analyze key metrics such as CO2, CO, PM2.5, humidity, temperature, and more; Activated carbon filters trap gases, chemical emissions, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odious odors, etc.; Negative Ion air filtration traps allergens, dust, and other hazards; And high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers capture 99.7% of particules 0.3 microns and larger in size, including those carrying SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
By adopting this comprehensive program, our clients enjoy cleaner air and all the benefits that stem from this crucial enhancement. Here we’ll explore the many ways our BreatheWell program has enhanced our clients’ facilities.
Even if a facility manager is well aware that their facility’s IAQ isn’t up to snuff, amending these issues with major HVAC overhauls can be highly cost-prohibitive and time-consuming. Indeed, one of our clients, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech), ran into this very issue at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. After more than a year of remote-only learning, A-B Tech was prepared to return to in-person instruction. However, the school needed to first address serious IAQ concerns so every student and faculty/staff member could return safely. But by the time A-B Tech received funding through a higher education relief program, it didn’t have the time or budget to undergo an HVAC renovation.
Enter our BreatheWell Program. Rather than invest in a costly HVAC overhaul, A-B Tech decided to give our solution a chance. We installed state-of-the-art AirBox air purifiers across their campus (these sit inside rooms instead of within duct systems) and updated their monitoring. As a result, A-B Techn avoided investing potential millions of dollars in HVAC renovation while still vastly improving IAQ.
Time is money, too. Not only would a comprehensive HVAC renovation have directly cost A-B Tech millions of dollars – it also wouldn’t have been completed in time for students, faculty, and staff to return in fall of 2021. Our BreatheWell program was put into place within three weeks following our initial consultation with this client. And because we already had an ongoing relationship with A-B Tech, we were able to further expedite the process.
Poor IAQ is one of the main vectors of illness throughout any facility. Conversely, measures that improve IAQ contribute to a safer and healthier indoor environment. An electrostatic air cleaner, for instance, captures allergens, dust, and other hazards to minimize respiratory issues and facilitate cleaning protocols. Protecting and maintaining occupant health in this way is a net positive in its own right, but it also yields additional benefits, which we’ll go over next.
When employees, students, guests, customers, and all other types of occupants breathe cleaner air in your facility, your enterprise sees an increase in sentiment across the board. A-B Tech saw this phenomenon firsthand with an influx of positive feedback and appreciation from faculty, staff, and students after BreatheWell’s introduction. People’s moods are closely connected to their physical state of being, so better IAQ results in improved morale. Ultimately, these improvements have a positive effect on your company’s overall reputation.
Better indoor air also boosts productivity from every angle. For starters, healthier employees and students are more energized and focused on the task at hand – this also ties directly to the increase in morale described above. Additionally, improved IAQ greatly reduced disease transmission within your facility. A decline in sick days (and the risk of illness) translates to more participation. At A-B Tech, 85% of students returned to in-person learning after our BreatheWell program was installed. Though every facility is unique in terms of its remote and in-person needs, those who choose to work or learn in-person are more likely to put in their best effort in a clean-air environment like that provided by BreatheWell.
Though our BreatheWell solutions are highly automated and durable, they require ongoing maintenance to remain fully functional. Here at The Budd Group, we don’t abandon our clients after providing them with our initial building maintenance services. On the contrary, we’re here to provide ongoing support for BreatheWell components as well as all of our other service offerings. So, if and when A-B Tech or any other clients needs replacement parts, inspections, periodic maintenance, etc., we’ll be there to ensure that they continue to improve their IAQ for the long haul.
The quality of air inside your facility has major implications on your long-term budget, schedule, occupant health, reputation, and success. As such, this aspect of facility management must remain a top priority. Our BreatheWell program is designed to provide our clients’ facilities with cost-effective, highly-efficient, long-lasting IAQ improvement. We’ve already helped countless facilities breathe better – be the next to reap the rewards of what BreatheWell can offer.
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