Although building occupancy throughout the pandemic has remained relatively low, most employees are looking forward to returning to the office. Gensler's recent survey found that 81% of U.S. workers would ideally work in the office in some capacity, whether full-time or in a hybrid model. Our own recent survey results show that building occupants’ priorities have shifted to new concerns post-pandemic. About 85% of respondents said they would like to know their building's indoor air quality (IAQ), and the majority of employees (85%) said that they will think about the health of others and air quality in their office building after the pandemic ends.
Attention to indoor air quality is important for many reasons. The EPA reports that Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors and that pollutants are often 2-5 times higher than typical pollutant concentrations outdoors. The air we breathe has a significant impact on our health; a study published by Environmental Health Perspectives found that spaces with good air quality and ventilation result in greater productivity from employees, equivalent to $6,500 per employee from greater productivity. In the wake of the pandemic, air quality is top of mind for building occupants since transmission can occur via airborne particles.
Improving indoor air quality may seem like a big undertaking. Below, we’ll discuss how your building can optimize its indoor air quality to assure tenants that their health is a top priority.
1. Know Your Air Quality
Improving indoor air quality begins with measuring the air. Adding sensors to your space gives you the ability to know the quality of the air your occupants breathe. Collecting this data allows you to benchmark the particulate matter in your air and gives your management team a baseline of how healthy the air in your building is.
2. Monitor Your Air Quality
Tracking air quality over time lets you see trends in particulate matter. Monitoring this data is important so you can identify patterns. Perhaps the number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) spikes at the same time every day in the same space. Monitoring trends equips your team with the knowledge to make airflow adjustments to improve air quality in that space.
3. Automate Your Indoor Air Quality Solution
Although measuring and monitoring your indoor air quality gives your team transparency into the air quality in your building, the most efficient way to improve the air quality is through an automated optimization program that tracks air quality and intelligently mitigates air pollutants. Cohesion’s AI-driven indoor air quality program enables the building’s HVAC system to increase airflow as pollutants rise, thus reducing the amount of particulate matter in the air. This means that the air in your building is refreshed when it’s needed and provides a healthier workplace with greater employee productivity.
Cohesion offers an innovative air quality program that gives building managers the tools they need to optimize the quality of the air inside their building. The program launched in 2020 and is the first of its kind in a commercial real estate building. To see Cohesion’s indoor air quality program in action, request a demo.