Baby, It’s Cold Outside: ASHRAE Redefines Air Quality Again

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With colder weather setting in across the country, people are closing their windows to fresh air and opening another window to poor air quality. From parents to property managers, at this time of year, it is vital to prioritize the well-being of your occupants. 

Enter ASHRAE (Association of Society of Heating, Cooling, Refrigerations, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Standard 241, released in July 2023: “Control of Infectious Aerosols.” This new standard creates rigorous requirements to reduce the risk of disease transmission. It addresses exposure to infectious aerosols in both new and existing buildings and major renovations. Designed to promote more healthy indoor spaces, Standard 241 offers a robust response to the present challenges of infectious diseases in shared spaces. 

But what exactly are infectious aerosols? People exhale microscopic particles that can carry pathogens that cause illness. Due to their tiny size, they can hover in the air for a long time, posing a significant risk when other people inhale. Diseases like the flu, RSV, and even the SARS-COV-2 virus (a.k.a., COVID-19) are transmitted like this. Year after year, the economic and personal toll they take is hard to measure. 

ASHRAE’s Standard 241 is more than just a cursory glance at the issue. It dives deep into ensuring a broad approach to design, install, operate, and maintain healthy air systems. A few of its high points include: 

  • Infection Risk Management: Detailed strategies on how to manage and reduce the risk of transmitting infectious aerosols. 
  • Reduction of Disease Transmission Risk: Evidence-based practices to directly reduce the probability of disease spread. 
  • Sweeping Air System Considerations: An all-inclusive look at optimizing air systems, ensuring they are up to the task. 

So, why does this matter to property managers? Adoption of this standard now will ensure you provide safe indoor spaces for your tenants. This reduces potential business risks and improves tenant satisfaction. More than just compliance when it is required, it shows people in your buildings that you care about their health.  

BuildingLens offers a seamless integration with these new ASHRAE guidelines. Whether we are optimizing outdated systems or ensuring efficient energy use while maintaining air quality, BuildingLens is the turnkey solution that keeps you ahead. 

In a world still reeling from the impacts of pandemics and infectious diseases, staying informed and up to date on standards like ASHRAE’s 241 is smart and essential. With tools like BuildingLens, you can ensure that your property is a beacon of safety, efficiency, and innovation. 

Stay ahead of the curve, and let your tenants breathe easy this winter. Adopt, integrate, and innovate with the guidance of ASHRAE and the power of BuildingLens. 

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