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FRONT OF HOUSE VENUE VENTILATION


Leticia Menzzano, Communications Director and Indoor Air Quality Specialist at EnviroKlenz, asks why you should care about the quality of the air in large venues.


Indoor air quality has always been an overlooked topic, but it was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year. According to the CDC, one of the factors that increases the risk of transmission is “enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation or air handling, since fi ne droplets and small aerosol particles can build-up in the air space”.


The feature of indoor air quality has brought many concerns, not only to those who frequently visit public enclosed spaces (including workplaces, schools, or event venues), but also to the ones responsible for managing these spaces and safely creating a reopen plan.


A recent survey by YouGov, conducted in the UK, has shown that 64% of Brits are still uncomfortable in attending events indoors, like going to the movies or the theatre. When asked about their biggest concerns, 71% replied that their biggest concern is whether they are able to adhere to social distancing guidelines while at the venue.


Some of the safety measures mentioned to make visitors feel comfortable were management of physical distancing guidelines, hand sanitisers readily available, and compulsory facemasks. Another survey, conducted in 2019, has also shown that 73% of Brits agree the Government should develop indoor air quality guidelines for all public buildings – this number has only grown since the pandemic started and the risks of airborne transmission have been exalted.


FMs are in a unique position: fi nd safe and effective solutions to mitigate a problem that is not going away anytime soon – and quickly. These professionals are stepping out of their comfort zone to learn about indoor air quality technologies and create a plan for their environment.


HVAC systems and natural ventilation will always be the main sources of ‘clean air’ indoors, however, there are some limitations to them. Older HVAC systems, for example, may not handle higher effi ciency fi lters or provide desired air fl ow. When opening windows, the air exchange rate will increase, but outdoor pollution levels should always be assessed beforehand, especially in urban areas.


The increased awareness surrounding this topic, has led FMs to look for innovative solutions to care for their indoor air. On top of upgrading HVAC systems, portable air cleaners have been playing an important role in larger venues reopen plans. These professionals are looking for alternatives and reliable sources to learn about a whole new industry, technologies readily available, and long-term benefi ts. Unfortunately, most attractively priced air cleaners are not effective enough – they tend to use smaller and less effi cient fi lters, which leads to a higher changeout overtime. Many of these air purifi ers


44 | TOMORROW’S FM twitter.com/TomorrowsFM


are designed for home use and are unequipped for larger venues, so it is important to check the coverage area and air exchanges per hour the machines provide.


Portable air purifi ers also utilise different technologies to clean the air - some fi lter medias, like carbon, are not designed to remove viruses or small particulates. Others, like ionisers, have not been fully tested or recognised and have a limited effect on pathogens. When choosing the right air purifi er for any venue, third-party, scientifi cally recognised testing to back claims should be available; especially when it comes to emerging technologies. The EnviroKlenz Air System, for example, utilises a sustainable patented earth mineral technology that has been fully tested to neutralise 99.9% of virus and bacteria from the air.


https://enviroklenza rpurifi ers.eu/


Indoor air quality concerns are here to stay, and facilities managers need to be ahead of the curve. Portable air purifi ers for larger venues will not only bring clean, safe air and mitigate the risks of airborne transmission, but also make guests feel more comfortable when returning to normal activities.


www.enviroklenzairpurifi ers.eu/


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