The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust into the spotlight the need to examine indoor air quality to identify harmful, unseen airborne pollutants or contaminants, including viruses that we could be exposed indoors.
Keeping a watchful eye on indoor pollution levels is a concern shared by many returning to the workplace, and other traditionally densely populated buildings such as hotels and retail spaces. This concern is exacerbated by the confirmation that it is possible for the airborne Covid-19 virus to be spread through the inhalation of air carrying very small fine droplets and aerosol particles, increasing the risk of infection when in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces, especially when in close proximity to others.
Monitoring these contaminants in the air is critical to re-opening efforts, to reassure building occupants, visitors, clients, and employees that they are in safe, healthy spaces in which to work, meet, shop and go about other recreational activities in indoor environments.
And, even while vaccine rollouts are well underway around the world, lowering the risk of infection by maintaining good indoor air quality, amidst the unpredictability and uncertainty around Covid-19, is likely to remain a key area of concern. Beyond Covid-19, the pandemic has business owners re-thinking how indoor air impacts customers’ satisfaction, employees’ productivity and wellbeing, which factors in too, apart from chemical compounds, CO2 levels, humidity and temperature.
However, it’s not only good air quality that is a priority for building facility managers and operators. They need to consider, too, the impact of indoor air quality on the energy requirement in their buildings and facilities. Ensuring a healthy environment, while efficiently ventilating indoor space, and keeping an eye on energy costs is not an easy task. This is especially true without a unified monitoring and analytics solution to understand the air quality indoors, and the impact this has on energy and vice versa.
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Partnership provides heightened transparency into indoor air quality performance
In light of the growing need for visibility into the quality of the air circulating indoors, Wattics energy software has partnered with Kaiterra, a leading air quality monitoring solution provider, headquartered in Switzerland. To the partnership, Kaiterra brings expertise in air quality monitoring, through its range of award-winning air quality sensor devices, namely its Sensedge and Sensedge Mini, both of which are fully integrated with the Wattics energy dashboard and air analytics platform.
Data collected from Kaiterra’s RESET-certified devices can be analysed on the Wattics dashboard. Through the Wattics analytics suite, you can:
1.Clearly visualize and analyse the levels of contaminants in buildings and facilities. You’re able to adjust the granularity of data to identify trends/patterns.
2. Benchmark indoor air quality against recognised certifications eg. LEED, WELL, RESET. The recommended thresholds for LEED, WELL, RESET and RESET high performance are built into the Wattics platform so that you can easily evaluate whether the air quality levels indoors are meeting recommended standards.
3. Set custom thresholds and alarms on air quality parameters such as PM 2.5, PM 10, TVOC, humidity, Co2 and so on, before they reach unacceptable levels.
4. Enable machine-learning alerts to notify you when contaminants fall out of expected patterns, based on historical trends.
5. Bring your project data sources into a unified view to determine the variables impacting indoor air quality eg. occupancy, HVAC operation and so on. Operational data and business data can also be incorporated for normalisation purposes.
6. Combine your kWh consumption data and indoor air quality into one graph to understand if/to what extent, they have an impact on each other, and the cost implications of over-ventilation.
7. Better understand priority areas in your facilities where IAQ needs to be improved
8. Scale your air quality analysis for a multitude of sites, across different locations globally
9. Embed helpful resources/videos/documents/reports related to your air quality analyses/projects.
10. Provide customers with a branded indoor air quality display/TV, from which indoor air quality, environmental parameters and kWh performance can be monitored at any time.
IAQ and energy efficiency doesn’t need to be trade-off
When seeking to optimise facilities for both energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ), we have to consider the immense value of analysing these datasets together, side by side, in order to facilitate better decision making, as to what actions will be effective toward achieving an optimal balance i.e. maintaining good quality air indoors, reduce instances of over-ventilation which could lead to higher air-conditioning costs.
[Related: Top 4 benefits: Unifying energy and air quality data to optimise energy use, cost and indoor health.]
Through the expertise of Wattics in analytics, dashboarding and reporting, and Kaiterra—air quality specialists, sustainability consultants as well as energy service companies, can assist their clients better balance demands of good indoor air quality and energy efficiency, through the aid of a robust monitoring analytics solution, providing the much needed transparency to determine which actions to take.
Now you can monitor air quality and energy consumption (electricity, water, gas, fuel etc), production data and KPIs on a single dashboard. Observe trends and find saving opportunities without hectic data exports and spreadsheet exercises.
This winter, Wattics will be adding to its indoor air quality monitoring module a new functionality that calculates the potential for infection based on the indoor air quality metrics that can be controlled by a building’s or indoor space’s air system and expresses it in one number. The RESET Viral Index is used to optimize a building to minimize airborne infection potential. It highlights the spaces that already have systems in place that are operating to create the healthiest indoor space. *Kaiterra is an RESET Viral Index approved air quality monitor provider.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Kaiterra, recognised for its expertise in air quality monitoring solutions. Combined with the analytical power of Wattics energy and air analytics, together, we have the opportunity to provide a solution that is designed to help bring air quality and energy efficiency into harmony.”
– Antonio Ruzzelli, Co-Founder and CEO at Wattics