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    May 5, 2017

    Take a Deep Breath – WELL Air Quality Standards

    Take a deep breath. Was your air fresh? How can you tell? 

    Relaxed young woman at home with raised armsModern offices are notorious for their recirculated air. We’ve all heard of “Sick Building Syndrome,” where workers have various health problems from breathing the stale, toxic air caused by airtight buildings. 

    Nausea, headaches, and respiratory irritation from volatile organic compounds and particulates can make going to work challenging.

    Clean air is a basic necessity and the first WELL Building Standard (#01 Air Quality Standards). This standard outlines the requirements employers should follow to provide the best air quality for their employees: formaldehyde levels less than 27 parts per billion (ppb), carbon monoxide levels less than 9 ppm, ozone levels less than 51 ppb, and radon levels less than 4pC/L. 

    What can we do to ensure that everyone's air is this clean?

    First, the standard requires that the air is tested after occupancy. After passing that, a few innovative products and services can help maintain good air quality. Aircuity offers a system that gives a real-time assessment of indoor air quality. When its sensors pick up an unhealthy level of carbon monoxide or particulates, it activates the building’s ventilation system to fix the problem. More and more building owners are self reporting results on a real-time basis to their occupants. 

    On a smaller scale, Lighting Science makes a desktop lamp that provides a broad spectrum of light and monitors the quality of the air around it. I have been using this lamp at my desk for the past few months, and from time to time, it does have an alert, but typically only when I am cleaning my desk surface with a Clorox wipe.

    Clean air is the most basic necessity for a WELL-certified building. By monitoring and fixing the workplace's air quality, you can let everyone breathe a little easier.

    Be WELL!

    Originally published on LinkedIn by Ray Carney, WELL AP.

    Ray Carney

    Ray serves as Chief Executive Officer at Markon. His experience includes providing leadership, program management, organizational strategy, design thinking, data centers, and the creation of secure environments. Ray holds an MBA from University of Notre Dame and a BS in Business Administration from John Carroll...

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