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What Air Quality Lessons Did Facility Managers Learn During The Pandemic?

Jim Zarske, the director of sustainability services for NORESCO, discusses how facility managers learned more about their buildings and what they can take away from the COVID-19 pandemic moving forward

Facility managers are still dealing with COVID-19 pandemic issues more than two years after the coronavirus spread across the county. Many institutional and commercial facilities are finally bringing their employees back to the office, or have established a hybrid work plan where employees come to the office 2-3 times a week and then work from home the rest of the time.

Employees and other building occupants did their homework during their stay away from the office showing new interest in learning more about the air they breathe in during their time inside the office. Indoor air quality and the need to improve it, became an important takeaway during the pandemic. Facility managers responded by spending time and money to upgrade systems to make workers feel comfortable enough to return to the office during uncertain times.

“Two main guidelines that have come out of this pandemic are better filtration efficiency as well as more ventilation or outside air,” says Jim Zarske, the director of sustainability services for NORESCO. “When you do either of those (jobs) you’re going to ultimately increase the energy use of the building, but there’s a way to manage it in such a way that energy use doesn’t go up substantially.”

Managing editor Dave Lubach speaks with Zarske about the lessons that facility managers learned during COVID-19, and how managers will use those experience not only as the end of the pandemic seems near, but moving forward into the future.

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