The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for commercial buildings including malls, retail stores, and restaurants to increase the amount of fresh outside air from HVAC systems as a strategy for mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. New York and Connecticut have made compliance with these ventilation standards a requirement for certain businesses seeking to reopen indoor operations. Compliance presents an extreme challenge for the majority of businesses who are interested in making their facilities as safe as possible.
Modifications to an HVAC system’s ventilation settings and schedules typically require a technician to visit each individual facility to make manual adjustments to each HVAC system. This represents a significant expense and management nightmare.
Transformative Wave, an innovator in HVAC and building automation solutions, has announced a breakthrough new feature to its award-winning eIQ Platform, enabling facility operators to automate ventilation adjustments to comply with CDC recommendations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were faced with the need to increase ventilation rates in order to reopen 19 of our stores in New York and Connecticut. With Transformative Wave, all we had to do is call and ask them to make it happen,” said Alex Douris, Energy Specialist at H&M. “With our older building automation system, we would have been forced to physically go out to hundreds of HVAC units in order to do what Transformative Wave did in a few hours for us. The cost would have been significant.”
Compliance with CDC guidelines requires operators change three HVAC settings – eliminate demand-controlled ventilation (DCV), increase the minimum amount of outside air, and extend the length of time the HVAC systems operate (up to 24/7). The Enhanced Ventilation Mode addresses all three by allowing users to set multiple ventilation schedules with increased outside air assignments for each period. It is possible to aggressively purge the building with fresh air prior to occupancy and/or ventilate at predetermined levels for longer periods of time.
Transformative Wave’s eIQ Platform is a robust building automation and energy efficiency technology that goes beyond the limitations of conventional control systems. Automating the process of making complex changes in ventilation settings and schedules is unprecedented.
Enhanced Ventilation Mode can be applied globally across all buildings in a customer’s portfolio or only select buildings and individual HVAC units in the portfolio. This flexibility allows operators to navigate variations in local standards, occupancies, or climate realities.
Once the Enhanced Ventilation Mode parameters have been defined, enabling and disabling is accomplished with the “push of a virtual button” in the eIQ Platform user interface.
Automated compliance is simply not within the reach of the majority of facility operators in the retail sectors. It requires direct control over the HVAC system’s outside air dampers, operating schedules, and existing ventilation settings. Transformative Wave’s unique technologies make these kinds of operational changes possible.
Another advantage of this feature is the ability for operators to return systems to normal ventilation settings once the pandemic has passed and a return to pandemic ventilation standards can be easily accomplished should it be necessary due to an isolated or widespread outbreak. This is a mechanism for enterprises to protect themselves now and in the future.
Complying with these COVID-inspired guidelines can have adverse effects on comfort and energy costs. Transformative Wave’s family of products help facility managers make pandemic-related ventilation changes with minimal increase in energy expense and impact on indoor comfort.
“COVID has created many new challenges for businesses seeking to reopen. Our goal was to remove the burden of ventilation compliance by adding this ground-breaking feature to our product suite. Given the alternative of manual compliance, automating this process has immense value,” said Danny Miller, President of Transformative Wave. “This is possible due to the deep reach our technologies have into the HVAC assets. We leverage the substantial energy savings we generate and then exploit associated utility subsidies to create an economical path to intelligent buildings. The Enhanced Ventilation Mode feature now adds compliance with these emerging standards in pandemic ventilation management to our toolbox.”
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