A data health quality check may be your best first step toward healthy indoor air.
As healthcare facilities adapt to new demands and commercial buildings prepare for the “return to work,” there is an increased interest in maximizing outdoor air ventilation rates. At the same time, it is crucial to remember that many buildings (I will venture to say a clear majority of buildings) do not have a reliable measurement of actual ventilation rates. While the buildings were likely designed to deliver a certain Minimum Ventilation Rate, they were not likely outfitted with dedicated airflow measurement equipment.
Actual outside air flow rates can fluctuate dramatically based on proper maintenance of dampers, increased pressure drop from filters, CO2 sensor-driven controls and numerous other factors. If your risk management department were to ask you to document how much fresh air you are bringing into the building over a period of time, you would likely be stuck with few dependable options. Common approaches would be to use recorded fan speeds, damper positions, or rule-of-thumb design calculations to estimate the rate of outside air ventilation. These are all indirect and
rather crude methods of estimating airflow rates and are a weak basis for demonstrating that you are meeting critical, health-driven requirements. Even in facilities that feature sophisticated
outdoor airflow measurements stations, you may not have easy access to the data trends and the ability to effectively control the system based on that sensor data.
All of this leads to the conclusion that the first step to enhance your outdoor air ventilation is to understand what your system is actually delivering today. Our Altaire ADAPT products are designed to support this approach. We have pre-engineered the sensors and controls necessary to give you precise ventilation rate reporting while simultaneously accomplishing all your humidity control needs.
Don’t trust that you can just dial up 50% outside rates on your system that was designed for 20%. Gather data first and build a long-term data analytics approach into your retrofit projects!
#healthcarefacilities #indoorairquality #dataanalytics