There are a lot of really important public health conversations happening right now about HVAC systems, and the air that we breathe while we’re indoors, especially in public places. Increased ventilation with outdoor air is one of the top recommendations for reducing airborne contaminants and risks related to COVID19 while indoors.
Lucky for us, our building, The Centennial, was built to the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, using Energy Recovery Ventilators, or ERVs, instead of a traditional HVAC system.
So what does that mean exactly?
It means that any time you’re here working at Vibe Coworks, grabbing an afternoon treat at ChocMo, dining in at Crabtree Kitchen + Bar, or picking up drinks to go at High Spirits, you’re breathing in 100% fresh air from outside at all times.
Unlike traditional HVAC systems that ‘recycle’ air throughout the space, ERV systems bring 100% fresh air in from outside, filter it, then release the clean air into the space. Completely separate exhaust systems then take the used air directly outside again. There’s no recycled air around here, helping you breathe easy with every breath you take.
Not all indoor air is created equal
Never in a million years could we have anticipated how critical our air system might be in the face of a global pandemic. But here we are. We opted for an ERV system because it has so many proven benefits, including:
Filtering and removal of allergens, formaldehydes and other toxins from indoor spaces
- Improved respiration for asthma sufferers
- Mitigating mold and mildew risks
- Reduced odors
- Boosted energy efficiency
- Keeping temperatures more consistent throughout the spaces
- And even improved sleep due to fresher, cycled air
With the US Environmental Protection Agency and others now recommending the use of ERV systems as a key piece of the COVID19 prevention, we can add yet another benefit to that list: reducing exposure to the virus that causes COVID19.
So the next time you’re here, look up! You’ll find fresh air vents all around you—in every phone booth, every meeting room, every private office, every shared workspace. Added bonus? It’s outside deck season, and most all of our windows are operable (open-able), too.
Take that, COVID.