• Air Quality Monitoring
  • COVID-19
  • Building Systems

Advanced Smart Building Solutions Support Safety

Young Hoon Kim
Feb 16, 2021


Indoor air pollution is a considerable environmental problem, especially for developing countries that often do not have access to clean fuels. Polluted air inside space is one of the world’s leading causes of death—1.6 million people died prematurely in 2017 due to indoor air pollution. 

Air Safety Solutions Beyond Quality

Solutions are emerging that work in tandem to clean air and make buildings safer. In an air purification system, a purification technology equipped with a room air conditioner draws in and collects dust in an air filter to improve indoor air quality. Nevertheless, filtering dust alone cannot prevent virus transmission, which has become a requirement during this unprecedented period with COVID-19. Disinfection integrated into air purification can prevent virus transmission and purify air simultaneously. For instance, an ultraviolet A (UVA) LED photocatalytic filter integrated into air purification technology, offered by products such as AiroDoctor, enhances indoor air safety and quality.

A range of sensing technologies can help manage deteriorating indoor air quality. For example, the new PM2.5 air duct fine dust sensor from Siemens improves room occupants’ health and comfort by detecting hazardous particles. However, the technology cannot detect viruses. To eventually address this need, emerging sensing devices such as biosensors can help prevent future pandemics when the technology matures enough for in-field application.

Building Management Solution Integration Is Another Indoor Air Safety Option

To address the current pandemic, air quality is more important than ever. Adoption of smart building solutions and air safety technology integrated into building technology can help prevent virus spread.

Although real-time indoor environmental quality (IEQ) management systems, such as an atlasen system, are better equipped to enhance air comfort management, they can help mitigate virus spread. For example, the virus transmission is highly dependent on humidity levels, so IEQ systems can maintain humidity levels between 40% and 60% to help prevent the spread. Integrating biosensor or UVA technology with this IEQ system can improve building management further by enhancing the air safety management capability. 

Indoor air quality technology has become more and more integrated into smart building management systems. Technology is maturing for this application but smart building management has room for enhancing virus-fighting capabilities. Building management system providers can work with other technology providers (sensor, filter, and other solutions) to improve the IEQ management to the next level for purifying air and preventing virus spread simultaneously.