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Earlier this year, four leading tech companies announced they will work with the University of Miami Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC) to identify ways in which IoT, data analytics, and cleanroom technology can be combined for real-time building air quality monitoring.
Nick Tsinoremas, Vice Provost for Research and Computing and IDSC founding director at the University of Miami, says:
We have already captured data and found ways to improve building health on campus. It is our intent to build a global data repository and apply deep data science to make indoor air quality as easy to understand as outdoor air quality.
This landmark study could have significant implications for the future of indoor environments. But you don’t have to wait for the research results to take action on air quality. Forward-thinking facility managers are capitalizing on the affordability of smart sensors and advances in analytics software to create sophisticated building air quality monitoring systems.
In a smart building, air quality monitoring relies on strategically-placed IoT sensors that gather data in real time. Software, such as analytics software or smart building software, assesses this data to create insights into building air quality. A monitoring system with intelligent analytics gives facility managers greater control over indoor air quality than ever before and ensures buildings are healthy places to work, live, and play.
To effectively monitor building air quality, it is important to understand air quality standards and guidelines. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines on toxic airborne substances include the following:
Using smart air quality sensors that work in tandem with continuously operating analytics software, it is possible to look at these values in real time and over the long term.
Indoor pollutant levels vary over time. Continuous monitoring through IoT-enabled sensors and analytics means data will reflect all such variations and give you the ability to act on real-time data immediately. You will also be able to identify historic trends and air quality with variables like temperature and humidity.
A key advantage of using smart technology for building air quality monitoring is the ability to predict indoor air quality based on outdoor air quality. Facility managers who understand the relationship between outdoor and indoor conditions can easily adjust ventilation systems or make other modifications to enhance indoor air quality. Common strategies include:
A smart building platform can create accurate models that help all stakeholders understand the relationship between the quality of air inside and outside of buildings and identify opportunities for improvement.
Covid and Air Quality
The Covid-19 pandemic has put building air quality monitoring and building ventilation in the spotlight like never before. Many facility managers have had to quickly optimize their building’s capabilities, install new equipment, and add new practices to their daily routines to protect the health of building occupants.
Some of the most commonly recommended strategies to maintain safe indoor air quality include:
For the best results, facility managers should consult knowledgeable professionals with the expertise to recommend proven strategies and technologies for building air quality monitoring.
Selecting the correct sensing devices, controllers, and gateways is essential to create a responsive building air quality monitoring system. But monitoring without analysis offers few ways to resolve air quality issues. That’s why any air quality monitoring system must include cutting-edge smart building software with advanced analytics. By distilling data to meaningful insights, detecting and diagnosing faults, and making reliable predictions, analytics are the key to improving air quality in any commercial building.
Learn how to decipher common indoor air quality sensor readings for commercial buildings. Get the free eBook here.
Shayne Taker, Director of Sales at Buildings IOT, leads business development and sales for strategic accounts at Buildings IOT. Shayne is a former student athlete and professional hockey player who transitioned his competitiveness from hockey to intelligent buildings. Prior to joining Buildings IOT, he engineered, designed, and integrated cannabis cultivation facilities across Canada and Southeast Europe, developing a deep understanding of the cultivation center’s form, function, and flow. Shayne began his smart building career designing complex, smart building backbones in commercial facilities and ensured the systems network design and availability met specification including an award-winning facility in Washington D.C.