enVerid Systems, a provider of sustainable IAQ solutions, published a system-level framework for enabling low-energy, high IAQ, climate-resilient buildings. The Clean First approach is detailed in a new white paper, “How to Achieve Sustainable Indoor Air Quality: A Roadmap to Simultaneously Improving Indoor Air Quality & Meeting Building Decarbonization and Climate Resiliency Goals.”

The white paper was developed in collaboration with leading IAQ and energy efficiency companies 75F, Awair, GIGA, Oxygen8, Planled, and SafeTraces and includes input from more than a dozen built-environment experts.

The Clean First framework is based on a four-step process that building owners and operators, architects, energy efficiency consultants, and mechanical engineers and contractors can follow to achieve Sustainable IAQ: better IAQ more energy efficiently with improved resilience to outside air pollutants, including wildfire smoke and ozone. The framework draws on lessons learned from the pandemic and recent updates to building standards to address the growing need to decarbonize both new and existing commercial buildings while simultaneously improving IAQ. The core thesis of the paper is that improving IAQ with optimized ventilation and air cleaning need not conflict with building decarbonization and climate resilience goals and, in many cases, can reduce a building’s carbon footprint.

“To create high-IAQ, low-energy, climate resilient buildings for the future, we need to embrace alternatives to outside air ventilation to maintain healthy indoor environments,” said William Bahnfleth, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow/Presidential Member ASHRAE, The Pennsylvania State University. “Building on key lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic about layered air cleaning strategies, the Clean First framework presented in this paper lays out a well-constructed, system-level approach to achieve Sustainable IAQ. I encourage designers and engineers to read the paper and consider incorporating its recommendations into future projects.”

“It is time to embrace a Clean First approach to designing and operating buildings to deliver healthy indoor air quality while conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions,” said Christian Weeks, CEO of enVerid Systems. “For too long we have been constrained by a false choice of better IAQ or increased energy efficiency from reducing ventilation rates. The Clean First framework shows how combining field validated air cleaning, filtration, and ventilation strategies using existing building standards with continuous IAQ monitoring and dynamic building controls can deliver good IAQ and improve ventilation efficiency at the same time.”

ACEC Research Institute White Paper