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Commercial Turns to ‘Bipolar Ionization,’ UV Light to Fight COVID-19 Spread

January 26, 2021

More commercial property owners are turning to air purification technology to improve indoor air quality at their buildings and try to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Companies are finding that investing in such systems may be key to getting workers back inside their buildings.

Columbia Property Trust is one of several companies turning to bipolar ionization air purification technology for its buildings. It worked with a company called AtmosAir Solutions on a patented BPI technology to outfit more than 20 of its buildings and 100 of its elevators with better air quality.

The technology continuously saturates spaces with ions that bind to contaminants and then works to neutralize them, Commercial Property Executive reports. The system can be installed in a building’s air handling units as well as in small spaces, like elevators. The company has had tests performed by outside research firms and reports that airborne bacteria and viruses—including COVID-19—were reduced by more than 99% within 30 minutes of exposure to the system. The bipolar ions also were found to reduce dust and mold particles and help reduce odors and harmful volatile organic compounds.

Some companies are turning to ultra-violet light robots or cleaning devices to clean buildings. Earlier this month at CES 2021—an all-digital event this year—several companies showed off devices with UV-C light that uses hospital-grade disinfection to kill harmful viruses and bacteria—including the coronavirus—inside workspaces. Read more: ‘Clean’ Tech Takes the Virtual Stage at CES 2021.

Cleaning the air and limiting virus spread may become a building-wide effort among property owners, landlords, and tenants.

“Tenants first and foremost want to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for their team members,” Matt Root, CEO and managing partner of Parallel Capital Partners, told GlobeSt.com. “They also desire to work collaboratively with landlords to protect the health and safety of all building occupants. Tenants want to understand the worksite specific plan—COVID-19 building operating plans, detailed list of safety measures taken by the landlord, and confirmation of full compliance with orders, rules, and guidelines by the federal government, state government, county government, and local municipality.”

Source: 
Bipolar Ionization for Healthy Office Spaces,” Commercial Property Executive (2021)