Concerned about the impact of COVID-19 and indoor air quality, tenants at a commercial building in Adelaide St, Brisbane engaged Johnson Controls to install new AtmosAir bi-polar ionization technology across their three floors.

As Australia’s first installation, the project heralds the arrival of scientifically-proven technology to improve indoor air quality. The system works by continuously disinfecting occupied spaces and the surfaces within them from microorganisms including bacteria, mould and airborne viruses such as coronavirus.

According to the World Health Organisation, exposure to indoor air pollutants can lead to a wide range of serious adverse health outcomes including respiratory illnesses. The CSIRO also estimates the cost of poor indoor air quality in Australia to be as high as $12 billion per year. With people slowly returning to the workplace, one of the tenants at 79 Adelaide Street, Brisbane was motivated to invest in the new AtmosAir system to protect staff and occupants as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Johnson Controls introduced the AtmosAir solution to Australia in response to the urgent need for products that can help reduce VOCs, mould, bacteria and viruses circulating through indoor air systems, including commercial air conditioning. The system also restores oxygen ion levels and reduces the risk of germs infecting people by continuously disinfecting the air in the occupied spaces. 

Johnson Controls retrofitted nine AtmosAir bi-polar ionization air purification units to the air handling units that supply air to three levels of the commercial office site.

Each unit is controlled via an air pressure switch that ensures the system only activates only when the HVAC system is running.

The AtmosAir units are available in various configurations to suit the required air supply requirements of each installation. Each unit has between 1 to 8 bi-polar ionization tubes, which are intended to be mounted in the supply air duct or air handling system of a heating, cooling or ventilation system. The continuous disinfection of occupied spaces results in a significantly healthier workplace when compared to alternative air purification technologies that only clean passing air and not the areas or surfaces where people live and work directly.

Following the installation, the occupants reported noticing the air ‘feels fresher’, with independent testing undertaken at the site before and after the system was installed confirming the system had resulted in cleaner air. The purpose of testing was to determine if installing AtmosAir into the supply air ducting would reduce airborne microbial levels and airborne particulate levels.

The readings for airborne bacteria, yeast and mould showed a significant decrease with the initial readings of 5 cfu/m3 to 170 cfu/m3 reduced to 15 cfu/m3 to 60 cfu/m3.

Likewise, the readings for airborne particulate testing showed a significant decrease in airborne particulates from the initial reading of .007mg/m3 to .008mg/m3, reducing to .001mg/m3 to .002mg/m3.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives, and with indoor air quality acknowledged as a serious health threat, building owners are actively seeking solutions to deliver safer and healthier indoor environments. Johnson Controls reckon they’ve got at least part of the solution.


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