Shared Air: The New Enemy

April 22, 2020

First, to all who read this newsletter, my best to you and your families. I hope this find you well.

As the COVID 19 virus continues to ravage our country and we practice social distancing, we all are beginning to think about life “Post COVID 19”. One of the issues we will face is how do we make our senior living facilities and nursing homes safer for residents, patients and staff.

It is undeniable that these markets have been devastated over the past six weeks. Social distancing, quarantines and better cleaning techniques certainly are part of the solution. But—the bigger issue is:

How do we handle the shared air with a community?

Right now, in most facilities, the HVAC system acts as a delivery system for the virus throughout the building. The truth is a resident at one end of the building could infect a resident at the other end of the building with the virus being delivered by the HVAC system through the duct work. No amount of social distancing, cleaning or quarantining will stop this issue. This is a problem that needs to be addressed to help ensure the senior living industry isn’t decimated with future outbreaks.

Senior living is our business. We’ve worked in 18 states in IL, AL, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, PT/OT, Brain Trauma Units and Short-Term Care. We’ve worked on, installed and improved roof top units, fan coil units, PTACs and VRF Systems. Over the years, we have developed some great relationships with top tier mechanical engineers and quality HVAC sub-contractors. Since the outbreak, we have been working with them to design a system that meets the following criteria:

  • Effective at mitigating virus and pathogens
  • Can be installed on existing units
  • Does NOT require changing of UV bulbs (no UV bulbs involved)
  • Proven in the market (system we are homing in on has been used in Boston hospitals)
  • Compatible with all systems
  • Additional benefits beyond mitigation of pathogens and virus
  • Identifiable costs

We have had several meetings about this system and are now working through pricing exercises and developing best practices for installation. We know from experience how to work in occupied space, including resident rooms (many have FCU’s in each room). That’s why this system, beyond senior living, will benefit healthcare, schools, offices, churches, restaurants and hotels.

We all knew for a long time that shared air had risks. Those risks have home to roost. I’d be happy to share the system with anyone as I think this is going to be required going forward.

Everyone stay safe and healthy. This will end. We will all get back to some sort of normalcy in due time. But the way we do things and how we handle issues, particularly in construction, will change forever and for the better.

Keep the faith!

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