IAQ News

Creating Healthier Nursing Home Environments

Every sector of the U.S. economy feels the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hardest-hit segment of the population are seniors with people 85 and older facing the greatest risk of severe illness. Many nursing homes find themselves overwhelmed in their efforts to maintain safe environments for seniors in their care. As skilled nursing facilities (SNF) work to keep their residents safe, they also struggle to cope with the financial impact of the virus. To address this crisis, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made more relief funds available to nursing homes. More Relief Funds Available The HHS provides financial help to create healthier nursing home environments. Funding comes through a fixed distribution of $50,000 to each qualifying nursing home. Extra variable distributions of $2,500 per bed are available for SNFs with six or more certified beds. These funds are for use under the terms and conditions set for Provider Relief Fund payments. Nursing homes must remain in compliance with all guidelines and reporting requirements. Nursing facilities can use these funds to receive certification ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

Healthy Buildings Are Also Sustainable Buildings

For the past several decades, much focus has been put on the design of sustainable buildings. LEED certification is sought after by building owners and facilities managers in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and keep energy costs low. More recently, there has been an increased focus on the effects of the building environment on the health of workers. The goals of building and occupant health are not at odds with each other. Sustainable buildings are healthy buildings. One of the ways to make buildings healthier is by understanding the impact of HVAC systems on indoor air quality. Paying attention to the HVAC design and scheduling regular cleaning, maintenance, and inspections of HVAC systems are essential to improving indoor air quality. Health Impacts to Sustainable Buildings The COVID-19 pandemic has made building occupant safety a priority for building and facilities managers. The threat of airborne pathogens such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and waterborne pathogens such as the Legionella bacteria that cause Legionnaires disease has forced changes in the way we think about the health ...
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/ Building Sciences

Better Building Disinfection Begins With PURE-Decon

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made better building disinfection a top priority for facilities managers. Building owners, employers, staff, and visitors all want to be safe as buildings return to full occupancy. The right kind of emergency response to emerging threats is critical to safety. Even if your facilities have not been affected yet, now is the time to take preventative steps to keep buildings and occupants safe. New Safety Protocols Better building disinfection starts with the use of EPA-registered disinfectants. These products have proven effective in destroying the coronavirus. All high-touch surfaces (door handles, handrails, counter and desktops, phones, et cetera) need regular disinfecting to limit the risk of spreading pathogens. However, there are also considerations of personal protection equipment (PPE) and educating employees about disinfection and hand washing. Social distancing practices may be required along with a change to seating configurations and traffic patterns. Building managers must also stay informed about the most recent recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO). Multilevel PURE-Decon ...
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First Certified Pure Air Indoor Environment Building Opened

The making of the first certified Pure Air Indoor Environment. As COVID-19 continues to loosen its grip across the country organizations begin to reopen. Building and facilities managers must look ahead to a return to full occupancy. However, it's important to use caution and to have a strategy in place to keep building occupants safe. Reopening places of worship presents special challenges for social distancing and keeping high-touch areas free of pathogens. Several steps must take place before congregants return for services. Disinfecting HVAC systems and improving indoor air quality are also concerns. An example of the correct way to do this is Generation Church of Largo, Florida. Together with Pure Air Controls, the church successfully implemented a new program for a healthier worship facility. Generation Church felt a strong call to make their facilities as safe as possible for returning members. As a result, the church is the first facility in the U.S. to become a “Certified PURE-Air Indoor Environment”. This gives assurance to congregants and staff that church is safe for occupancy after the COVID-19 ...
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Healthy Buildings Are Key to Economic Recovery

Healthy buildings in the post-COVID-19 world are an important component to economic recovery. It’s important that businesses get back up and running quickly and adjust to what will be a new normal. Maintaining a healthy indoor environment is critical to this. If in the past, budgetary concerns limited the resources devoted to health, wellness, and sustainability concerns. But this is no longer an option. Building owners and managers cannot afford to get this wrong. For the economy to rebuild and thrive, building occupants must feel safe. The good news is, there are several ways to do this. Health-Focused Building Reopening Implementing a reopening strategy that is focused on the health of building occupants is critical. Not just for the success of the business, but for the economy as a whole. After buildings have sat partially or fully unoccupied for several months, there are issues of indoor air quality that must get addressed to ensure safety. Some of these issues include:
  • Changes in humidity levels
  • Spread of waterborne pathogens
  • Infected cooling towers
  • Infected interior occupied spaces
...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

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