Finally, good news on the prevention of airborne diseases! In the US a New Standard is born: ASHRAE approved and published Standard 241P, Control of Infectious Aerosols, which establishes minimum requirements aimed at reducing the risk of disease transmission through exposure to infectious aerosols in new buildings, existing buildings, and major renovations.
Air Pollution is a serious thing, as the standard acknowledges
Perhaps the pandemic taught us this, or perhaps the pandemic was just the latest piece in a larger jigsaw, as the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE), which later became ASHRAE, had already taken a position on the issue of indoor air quality in the past.
But surely this decision makes clear the realisation on the part of the US authorities that air pollution and the risk of disease transmission through aerosols are very serious problems that must be addressed with appropriate legislation.
Focus Areas of ASHRAE Standard 241P: Enhancing Indoor Air Quality
The new Standard 241P introduced by ASHRAE represents a significant step in prioritising indoor air quality and aims to improve the health, well-being, and productivity of building occupants. It empowers building owners, operators, and professionals to proactively safeguard indoor environments and promote sustainable practices. The standard introduces several important aspects:
Infection Risk Management Mode | The standard applies during identified periods of elevated risk of disease transmission, and authorities can determine when the enhanced protections of Standard 241P are required. It also allows owners/operators to exercise discretion, such as implementing the standard during influenza season. This aspect introduces the concept of resilience into indoor air quality control design and operation, emphasising the ability to respond to extreme circumstances. What’s interesting about the norm is the idea of “building resilience”, emphasising their capacity/need to respond flexibly to extreme circumstances. But he concept of “safety by design”: safety can no longer be a coincidence, but must it must be designed, regardless of emergency situations.
Requirements for Equivalent Clean Airflow Rate | Standard 241P goes beyond traditional standards by setting requirements for the flow rate of pathogen-free air into occupied areas. This includes outdoor air, filtration of indoor air, and air disinfection technologies. This approach allows flexibility in selecting technologies that best meet economic constraints and energy use goals.
Requirements for Use of Filtration and Air cleaning Technology | The standard emphasises the efficient and cost-effective use of filtration and air cleaning to meet equivalent clean airflow requirements. It includes testing requirements to ensure performance and prevent degradation of indoor air quality by other means, such as elevated ozone levels.
Planning and Commissioning | Standard 241P provides assessment, planning, and commissioning requirements. It incorporates the development of a building readiness plan and outlines procedures to determine the installed performance of systems.
Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Cleaning: the pillars of Standard 241P
The standard covers key areas such as ventilation, filtration, air cleaning, HVAC system operation and maintenance, and building occupancy. Proper ventilation, outdoor air intake, and air distribution are highlighted as crucial factors for enhancing indoor air quality. High-efficiency air filters capable of capturing small particles, including infectious aerosols, are recommended. Integration of air cleaning technologies, such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) and photocatalytic oxidation, is encouraged. Additionally, the standard emphasises the significance of appropriate HVAC system operation and regular maintenance to minimise the risk of contamination.
What are the benefits of implementing the new Standard 241P?
By implementing the requirements of Standard 241P, building owners and operators can enhance indoor air quality, prioritise the well-being of occupants, and create healthier indoor environments. The standard is a great framework, not only when it’s mandatory, but always. In fact clean air is not a nice to have, but a must, as it affects both people and organisations health.
“How can we help?”
We borrow this question, made famous by the TV series New Amsterdam (based on the true story of Dr Eric Manheimer), to explain how the Pure Air Zone suite by U-Earth conceptually fits with the new Standard 241P and it can help you meet the new standard, especially looking at these items of the suite.
Everything starts from bioreactors.
AIRcel - The Air Purifier: AIRcel uses molecular charge attraction to attract pollutants, pathogens, gases, mould spores, ultrafine particulate matter, and VOCs. Once captured, U-Ox, a proprietary blend of enzymes and bacteria, neutralises contaminants and provides comprehensive air purification.
The special power of U-Lamp
U-Lamp - The latest generation, safe-on-the-skin UVC Light - sanitizer air and surfaces using UVC at 222 nm, effectively inactivating viruses, bacteria, and mould. It has various applications in healthcare, schools, offices, hotels, and the food sector.
When the light is green the air is clean
Sensor X - Air Quality Monitor: Sensor-X provides real-time air quality data for the Pure Air Zone, with readings uploaded to the cloud every five minutes. It ensures compliance with air quality standards.
Keep safe, on the go as well as indoor
U-Mask Model 3 - A reusable, FFP2 certified mask with a high-quality meltblown layer for protection against fine particles and dust. It offers comfort, sustainability, and a PFE of 99.96% against aerosols and microorganisms and it protects people on the go.
Meeting the New Requirements for Clean Indoor Environments with Pure Air Zone
In conclusion, the introduction of ASHRAE Standard 241P is a breath of fresh air when it comes to preventing airborne diseases. This new standard emphasises the importance of indoor air quality and provides minimum requirements to ensure healthier environments for all of us. It's a welcome step forward in safeguarding our well-being and promoting sustainable practices. And guess what? Pure Air Zone is here to support you every step of the way!