How digital solutions can help manage indoor air quality during and after COVID-19

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Based current knowledge on coronavirus transmission routes, it is recommended to renew the air and ensure good ventilation in order to remove virus particles and to prevent their accumulation in buildings. But, how can we ensure that the ventilation in place is effective?

How can digital solutions help manage indoor air quality in buildings and assess if ventilation is effective?

In the current context of COVID-19, monitoring the performance and effectiveness of the ventilation is fundamental. The role of digital solutions is crucial as they allow facility and building managers to understand the data measured in a given context, putting it in a historical perspective and taking into account a number of variables, such as the occupation of the building. 

Digital solutions help facility and building managers take the right actions using the right information at the right time. They provide insights in two aspects:

  1. Comfort and Air quality: this parameter is measured via the concentration of CO2 in the air
  2. Performance of equipment such as ventilation systems: how effective is the ventilation system?

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Webinar: ensure healthy buildings during and after COVID-19

Monitorer la qualité de l’air intérieur dans les locaux de travail. Un nouvel arrêté apporte des modifications à la norme en vigueur

Webinar : facilitate M&V in compliance with IPMVP

EPCs, ISO 50001, white certificates, or simply a request of clients: the reasons to Measure & Verify savings precisely and in line with IPMVP guidelines are many and energy managers need more and more to provide guarantees and to prove ROI.

During this webinar Denis Tanguay, the CEO of EVO, will share with you the latest updates on M&V. We will also exchange on the most common difficulties encountered by energy managers when running M&V projects and the solutions to simplify the process and to decrease the costs linked to it.

Speakers

Denis Tanguay, CEO at EVO

Matthias Zuliani, energy engineer, CMVP and EPC facilitator at Ingenium

Oguz Kiranlar, energy engineer and product manager at Energis

DATE: June 4th at 4 pm CET (9 am Quebec time)

Webinar: ensure healthy buildings during and after COVID-19

Monitoring indoor air quality in real time gives the right insights to maintain healthy conditions

Indoor Air quality is important and regulated by law. In a former article we already mentioned how in Belgium, a federal law entered into force last year to regulate indoor air quality standards. However, the current situation, is making it even more critical to be able to monitor and act upon it in order to guarantee healthy environments.

Just a few days ago, the 226 residents of a Quebec nursing home were all contaminated with Covid-19. The virus was present in the air and was found everywhere in the building. How did that happen? The ventilation systems were non-functional in the building and, according to Caroline Duchaine, bioaerosol specialist at Laval University, “the lack of ventilation has undoubtedly allowed the virus to accumulate in the air and settle in places far from infected patients.”

What we know about Corona virus transmission routes

Current data suggest that transmission via air can happen in two ways:

  1. Close contact transmission through large droplets (> 10 microns), which are released and fall to surfaces not further than about 1-2 m from the infected person.
  2. Airborne transmission through small particles (< 5 microns), which may stay airborne for longer periods and can be transported long distances. This transmission route is not confirmed by WHO, but based on the precautionary principle, this should be taken into account to manage the ventilation in buildings. 

This mechanism implies that keeping 1-2 m distance from infected persons might not be enough and increasing the ventilation is useful because of removal of more particles.

Current Recommendations to limit airborne transmission

When there is no HVAC in place

Following WHO (World Health Organisation) recommendations, it is important to open windows and doors in closed environments (schools, office buildings, etc.) in order to make sure the venue is well ventilated.

When there is HVAC system in place

Following recommendations of the REHVA (Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations), in buildings with mechanical ventilation systems, extended operation times are necessary in order to remove virus particles out of the building and to remove released virus particles from surfaces. It is therefore advised to start ventilation a couple of hours earlier and switch off later than usual, or to keep the ventilation on 24/7, possibly with lowered (but not switched off) ventilation rates when people are absent.

In Practice: how to monitor indoor air quality in real time?

In order to be able to follow current recommendations, it is important to be able to monitor air quality parameters remotely. In practice, what do you need to do?

During the webinar, three experts will share with you the best practices to put in place, based on current scientific knowledge. In practice, you will learn how to:

  1. collect indoor air quality data automatically
  2. analyse indoor air quality through remote visualisation tools
  3. detect deviations from thresholds in real time by setting-up alerts that alert you when ventilation is needed

Speakers

Samuel Caillou, Researcher in Building Heating & Ventilation at WTCB-CSTC-BBRI

Geert Bellens, Engineer comfort and indoor climate in buildings at Metiz

Frederic Wauters, Product and Innovation Manager at Energis, expert in digital solutions for energy, comfort and air quality monitoring

Sources: WHO, REHVA, WTCB

Related articles:

“Une maison de repos totalement infectée à Montréal : le virus était présent dans l’air “

“How can ESCOs and facility management companies pursue their activities while protecting their workers and tenants?”

Monitorer la qualité de l’air intérieur dans les locaux de travail. Un nouvel arrêté apporte des modifications à la norme en vigueur

How can ESCOs and facility management companies pursue their activities while protecting their workers and building tenants?

In these difficult times, we’re all going through, we sincerely hope that you and your families are well. If most of us are easily working from home, concerns were expressed by professionals who need to perform field interventions. Our commitment is to keep working with our partners to help them pursue their activities in the best conditions possible, without putting at risk people’s health. 

Take remote control of HVAC 

As you probably know, following recommendations of the REHVA (Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations), in buildings with mechanical ventilation systems extended operation times are necessary in order to remove virus particles out of the building and to remove released virus particles from surfaces. It is therefore advised to start ventilation a couple of hours earlier and switch off later than usual, or to keep the ventilation on 24/7, possibly with lowered (but not switched off) ventilation rates when people are absent.

With Energis.Cloud, you can make these changes remotely. The system can either communicate with the HVAC directly or through the existing BMS.

These actions are especially important for the period that will follow confinement.

What other equipment can you control remotely?

Of course, your activities are not limited to HVAC in buildings. Energis.Cloud enables you to take remote control of a number of equipment and devices such as refrigeration systems, lighting, cogeneration units, production lines, PV systems, etc. Contact us to know how we can help your company pursue business while protecting your workers health. Read more about our remote control solutions.

How long would it take to put it in place?

Depending on the building and the infrastructure in place, this could take between one month and three months. Our engineers are available to analyse your needs.

Prepare NOW safer working conditions for your workers and for building tenants for the period of post-confinement.

Sources: latest recommendations issued by REHVA on April, 3

IPMVP®: your guarantee to measure and verify the results of energy efficiency projects

Investing budgets and resources in a project is a decision that is linked to a fundamental aspect: ROI. The first question entrepreneurs ask, even when they intend to go through an energy requalification of their sites, is : “What will be the return on this Investment?“. The only way to be sure of this is to use forecasting and monitoring tools that respect the IPMVP® protocol.

In this article we will clarify the importance of knowing and relying on this convention. Here are the topics we will cover:

Why was the IPMVP® originally developed

IPMVP® is an acronym which, written in full, is self-explanatory: International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol. It is a convention that has aimed to standardise at an international level the ways in which the performances of energy, water and renewable energy projects are measured and verified.

Why was it needed?

As stated in the EVO® website itself, which we will talk about shortly, energy savings are not directly measurable as they represent the absence of consumption of an energy source. The only way to determine real energy savings is to compare the consumption before and after the implementation of some measures or, even better, the implementation of an efficiency improvement project.

The scope of the international protocol is to establish exactly what and how to measure, so as to guarantee uniformity and clarity.

Who drafted the IPMVP® protocol?

EVO® is a non-profit organization whose services and products help professionals manage and invest in energy efficiency projects. In particular, the organisation aims to ensure that the savings and the impact of such projects can be measured in an accurate and verifiable manner.

In EVO®, the internal commission dedicated to IPMVP® is composed of volunteers (all qualified professionals) from all over the world who are committed to developing and updating the protocol, promoting the dissemination of energy efficiency tools and best practices.

What is the committee working on?

The IPMVP promotes efficiency investments by the following activities:

  • By defining common terms and methods to evaluate performance of efficiency projects for buyers, sellers and financiers.
  • By providing methods for determining savings either for the whole facility or for individual energy conservation measures (ECM).
  • By specifying the contents of a Measurement and Verification Plan (M&V Plan). This M&V Plan should produce verifiable savings reports. An M&V Plan must be developed for each project by a qualified professional.
  • IPMVP applies to a wide variety of facilities including existing and new buildings and industrial processes.

What are the benefits of using IPMVP?

The protocol offers the possibility to measure with seriousness and impartiality the savings obtained in the company thanks to the implementation of projects including energy efficiency, water and renewable sources. In particular:

  • when financial payments are based on demonstrated energy or water savings, as in the case of Energy Performance Contracts (EPC), adherence to IPMVP ensures that savings follow good practice. An IPMVP-adherent savings report allows a customer, an energy user or a utility, to readily accept reported performance. Energy service companies (ESCOs) whose invoices are supported by IPMVP-adherent savings reports, usually receive prompt payments.
  • for professionals such as ESCO and Energy Managers, specification of IPMVP as the basis for designing a project’s M&V can simplify the negotiations for an energy performance contract. the use of a tool to forecast costs and benefits of a project based on this protocol also eliminates the risk of discussions.
  • your reports, if drafted with IPMVP® based softwares, enjoy greater credibility and value, representing a competitive advantage for energy professionals
  • a reference is offered at the level of tools and methodologies that allows companies to promote and reach energy saving objectives more easily.

Choose a software that Measures and Verifies Savings in accordance with IPMVP guidelines

Our Energy management software, Energis.Cloud, has been programmed in compliance with the IPMVP® to fully support the activity of energy professionals and companies.

We all know that consumption is influenced by many factors, such as weather conditions and building occupancy. Energis.Cloud uses complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms that identify these factors and link them to consumption with great precision. Energis.Cloud is the only software on the market capable of identifying energy models in just a few clicks and in line with the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol.

The resulting consumption baselines can be used to optimise energy performance (generating intelligent alerts), forecast consumption and production of energy and calculate savings before and after project implementation, under the same conditions. In the image below we can appreciate the different criteria used for the creation and use of extremely precise models that guarantee the correct forecast of energy consumption and the determination of the savings achieved.

Would you like to know how we could help you?


Sources:

EPC: how ESCOs can demonstrate real savings to their customers.

Energy performance contracting (EPC) is a mechanism to organise the energy efficiency financing. A profitable contract but with a very delicate point: the remuneration of the ESCO (Energy Service COmpany) depends on the achievement of the guaranteed savings. It is therefore key for the ESCO to be able to demonstrate the savings achieved throughout the project. In this article we talk about how an Esco can prove the savings achieved thanks to its intervention and the importance of using a software compliant with IPMVP® guidelines (International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol).

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Energy Flow Diagram and Multi-Period Profile Chart enrich Energis.Cloud

The V6.1 aims to facilitate even more the work of Energy Managers

The market of energy efficiency is growing fast and we try to always keep an advance to best serve energy managers. Thanks to our growing experience, the constructive feedbacks from clients and the requirements we monitor on the energy efficiency market, we have further enhanced our Smart Energy Management Platform. Energis.Cloud 6.1 aims to facilitate even more the work of Energy Managers with some very unique features.

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CO2 and energy efficiency : what is the scenario?

CO2= P (people) x S (services per person) x E (energy per service) x C (CO2 per unit energy). This equation is probably not new to you. But what is really behind it?

Let’s have a look at the first two data of the equation, People and Services : the current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to a new United Nations report. If we sum the higher life expectancy, the improved quality of life in emerging countries such as India, China, Brazil, the increase in energy demand is ineluctable. In other words, with People and Services increasing, we can expect CO2 emissions to follow the curb (source UN). Read more

Energis.Cloud v5.2 : new features for a smooth user experience

Generating savings for your clients is a complex and multifactorial exercise: you have to manage a high quantity of data and variables, benchmark multiple sites, communicate and collaborate with several stakeholders, etc.

In this new version of Energis.Cloud we have improved the way of exploring your data so that you can further boost your productivity. Read more

Generate Savings by Digitising Utility Invoices. Curious to know how?

Webinar “Generate savings by digitising utility invoices”

Every month, you process and check hundreds, thousands of utility invoices, manually. Not only it takes time, but the risk of committing errors is high. By digitising your utility invoices you can automate this manual process.

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