Combating covid: embracing smart technology to measure indoor air quality

Virus

Combating covid: embracing smart technology to measure indoor air quality

The unrelenting march of the Covid pandemic has had a monumental impact on employee working conditions. While there is a proportion of the workforce who can effectively work from home, there are still large numbers of employees who have to work on site: everywhere from hospitals and healthcare, to manufacturing and distribution centres.

How can employers keep those employees safe and minimise their risk of catching and spreading coronavirus? Advice from governments and scientists is that ventilating premises can help mitigate risk. In this new world of Covid19, which we are told we will need to live alongside, the efficacy of ventilation systems and associated services has never been more important in helping to optimise employee wellbeing and safety.

Indeed, as we move out of lockdown, with schools and universities set to reopen, followed by retail and ultimately restaurants and hospitality, what part can ventilation play in combating the spread of Covid?

Here we look at how Smart IoT technology can help employers optimise employee safety levels and why measuring indoor air quality – IAQ – should be an essential part of pandemic planning.

Measuring indoor air quality: what’s the challenge

Ventilation and ‘air volume’ turnaround are key factors to minimising risk levels for employees. It’s a simple equation:  the more fresh air being circulated through a facility, the lower the level of risk.

One key measurement is the Co2 level. The amount of Co2 level present indicates the efficacy of air turnover. The higher the Co2, the poorer the air turnover and, therefore, the higher the risk of transmission and infection.

There are well documented levels of temperature and relative humidity (RH) above which the Covid virus is more likely to flourish. So it is important to assess how well your building or facility performs, in terms of temperature levels and RH, so you can strive to operate at conditions which minimise virus spread.

If, for example, filtration is being used within your heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) system then monitoring the performance of the filters is essential. Should they become blocked, they become less efficient and will alter the levels of air throughput.

Do you have building management system(s) in place to monitor Co2, RH or temperature? If so, are they current? Is the software still supported?

If you are an estate manager you may have a several BMS systems, giving different data. Is the data offered in a real-time, useable format? In fact, if your HVAC system isn’t set at the optimum levels for maintaining indoor air quality, of what value is the data that is gathered?

Clearly, in the battle against Coronavirus, to ensure optimum IAQ it’s essential that HVAC equipment is set at ‘optimum’ levels and that data can be gathered in real-time, so any issues are spotted immediately. In short, smart IoT technology is the way forward for air turnover monitoring, optimum facility air ventilation and – ultimately – peace of mind for employers and employees.

How our Matrix+ IoT solution provides the answer

You cannot manage what you cannot measure: the Matrix+ allows a rapid deployment of key measurements which allow you to fully understand IAQ levels within your building.

The equipment can be installed by entry level technicians, making it a viable and cost effective solution to deploy at scale.

All the data gathered – including Co2 monitoring, air turnover monitoring, and filtration monitoring – is presented back to a centralised IoT platform, the CDL CDLSmartHub.

This gives you or your estate manager a helicopter view of how the various facilities are performing, enabling corrective actions to be taken.

Any measurements can be alerted on and acted on in near real time. For example, if a ventilation fan stops working or Co2 levels exceed acceptable levels, an alert can be generated which goes out to multiple recipients.

Our Matrix+ solution does not require any connectivity via LAN/WAN, this optimises set up time and you have peace of mind, knowing that it is monitoring air makeup 24/7.

At Caption Data Ltd, we are proud to be among the world’s leading IoT/remote monitoring specialists focusing on air treatment, indoor air quality and OEM IoT solutions.

We have end to end solutions delivering data from more than 11 countries for a number of blue chip, multinational organisations.

To talk to us about better buildings for you and your employees, and how monitoring air quality can help keep your team safe, please get in touch.