Office HVAC duct
Office HVAC duct

Our Guide to Best Practice IAQ

24 February 2022

CODA’s CEO, Dan Shields, shares his insights on the management of internal air quality and the placement of sensors to ensure safe and healthy environments.

“The recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions means that people can gather indoors once again. From employees returning to their places of work to retail and hospitality venues welcoming larger numbers of customers back, many people are now adjusting to the new normal.

“With this shift, there is a renewed focus on internal air quality (IAQ) and the importance of maintaining good ventilation to limit the spread of coronavirus. As such IAQ sensors, coupled with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, are becoming integral to the safe running of buildings, including offices, restaurants, and cinemas. The sensors can assess the temperature, CO2 and humidity levels and alert building managers if these deviate from their optimum. This makes it possible for maintenance teams to act quickly to improve ventilation and combat the spread of disease-causing pathogens.

“To enable the sensors to perform at their best, it’s important that they are placed in appropriate locations around the building. The activities taking place within the building will influence the location of the sensors as they should be installed at ‘breathing height’. As such, we must consider, for example, if building users are usually sitting down to work or eat or if they are likely to be standing in queues at checkouts or walking around exhibitions. Once this has been established, the sensors can be placed on walls around the building within three and six feet above floor level based on the movements of the occupiers.

“Before installing the sensors, it’s prudent to check that the necessary communication signals will serve the proposed locations. For example, if your sensors are WiFi-dependent, double-check that every sensor is well within the range of the signal to ensure uninterrupted service.

“In addition, the United States Environmental Protection Agency also advises that it’s essential to ensure that the sensor location is secure so that the sensors won’t be damaged or stolen. The Agency also highlights that the sensors should be placed away from any obstructions or emission sources that might interfere with the generation of an accurate reading.

“By following this guidance, it’s possible to create an environment that is not only safer for building users, but that inspires their confidence as they adjust to life post-pandemic.”

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