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How Safe Is Your Office Air? There's One Way to Find Out

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At Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, an architecture firm in Lower Manhattan, electronic air sensors feed real-time data to large displays.

In the U.S., there is little regulation of indoor air quality, and once a building is up and running, occupants typically have little insight into whether the air they are breathing is safe.

Credit: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Indoor air-quality sensors installed in commercial buildings during the pandemic are now proving useful in areas affected by wildfire smoke.

These sensors help optimize energy use while monitoring air quality in real time, tracking particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and carbon dioxide.

The ventilation system responds automatically when the sensors detect a change in air quality.

Additionally, if the sensors indicate higher levels of indoor particulate matter, for instance, building managers are alerted to alter system settings to recirculate more indoor air and lower the amount of outdoor air being drawn into the building.

Design and engineering firms, among the early adopters of such systems, say the pandemic spurred interest in the technology from clients.

From The New York Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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