Going Beyond Demand Controlled Ventilation to Improve Air Quality



Demand controlled ventilation (DCV) regulates the outside air supply of a building based on real-time occupancy. It’s a way for buildings to reduce energy costs by minimizing ventilation rates when people are not present in the building. Governing bodies, such as ASHRAE, set codes that mandate the minimum ventilation rate for a commercial building. But, DCV allows buildings to save energy by reducing ventilation rates below the required minimums, as long as CO2 or occupancy levels are being sensed in real-time.


The industry has been interested in demand controlled ventilation for decades, mainly because of the opportunities that exist to conserve energy. Utility companies reward buildings that reduce their energy consumption, driving even greater awareness of how much energy is being used.


With Riverside Investment & Development, Cohesion recently launched Vayu, an air quality optimization program that uses sensors and IoT technology to deliver optimal indoor air quality conditions by automatically adjusting ventilation rates at the zone level in response to real-time pollutant levels. While DCV allows you to save energy by reducing ventilation rates below the code required minimums in a building, Cohesion’s program relies on real-time sensor data to adjust ventilation rates based on pollutant levels. Vayu is an intelligent way to deliver high quality environments while minimizing the energy impact.


DCV rates are traditionally based on indoor CO2 concentrations. Cohesion’s air quality program takes a more holistic approach to air quality by measuring total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), particulate matter (both PM2.5 and PM10), as well as CO2 levels. By creating a feedback loop with sensors in the space, we can ensure that the building is delivering the best quality air that it can but also saves energy when pollutant levels are low.


Because Vayu by Cohesion is a software platform, we can modify our actions from the cloud remotely based on the true demand of the space; there is no need for property managers to involve building systems engineers or controls contractors to adjust how the system is run. Cohesion’s IoT platform integrates directly with the building device protocol (i.e. BACnet), enabling our team to update your building’s ventilation algorithm as needed. Vayu offers a unique combination of increasing indoor air quality and demand controlled ventilation at the zone level based on data.


The commercial real estate industry is rapidly changing. We are seeing increased demand for transparency about the environment where employees are spending their time. We know that the demand for office space will look different post-covid, and now is the time to optimize ventilation based on real-time pollutant levels. We’re seeing demand for modernizing processes and systems all around commercial office buildings – from mobile keycards and in-app elevator call buttons to digitized workflows. It only makes sense that air quality will follow suit with a digital, data-based approach.


People are thinking about air quality in an all new way, and Vayu by Cohesion improves indoor air quality and gives people the confidence to come back into the office.


To learn more about Vayu by Cohesion, request a demo from our team.


Isaac Townsend is a Senior Product Manager and Building Automation Engineer at Cohesion. He bridges the gap between people, technology, and building systems to develop strategy and innovation within the smart building space.


Tara Larrue is a Data Scientist at Cohesion. She integrates and analyzes mechanical system and tenant occupancy datasets to derive insights that promote environmental and economic optimizations.

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