If we designed a healthier waste, sewage, and water system to make cholera history…
If we installed window screens, used pesticides, and managed standing water to reduce insect-borne illnesses such as yellow fever, malaria, West Nile, Dengue, Zika, and others…
How did we manage to forget indoor air quality?
Was it because allergies were seen as seasonal or easily treated?
Was it because colds and flus were seen as something that didn’t remain in the air, but had more to do with spread by contaminated contact?
Or perhaps illnesses stemming from indoor air quality were seen as mostly just irritating for most people so something we lived with rather than addressed directly?
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry along with building owners might be finally taking indoor air quality – especially filtration and ventilation – seriously as a public health measure in buildings everywhere. The pandemic made more consumers aware of the difference that appropriate ventilation and filtration can make in the health of building occupants.
Increasingly, schools, offices, retail stores, and restaurants are using these improvements to market their location as safe and as a place people can feel more comfortable working in-person, lingering over dinner and drinks, browsing sales racks, or bringing their children indoors. Similarly, many also promote their cleaning processes or list the brand of disinfectant they use to communicate that this is a safe location.
LEED certified buildings more specifically consider filtration and ventilation. However, most buildings are set to minimum code requirements (which are typically based on standards developed by ASHRAE) and are most interested in heating and cooling capacity. Will this be the moment that turns high level IAQ issues into a priority for all buildings, including retrofitting existing buildings? Freedonia analysts continue to monitor changes in thinking – from building codes to costs to owner/occupant demand.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including Global HVAC, Global Filters, Consumer Air Treatment Systems, and Indoor Air Quality Equipment: Air Treatment & Ventilation (coming soon). Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.