NEW WHITE PAPER: The Nature of Air: Economic and bio-inspired perspectives on indoor air quality management

Our team at AtmosAir is excited to announce the release of a new whitepaper from one of the most respected green building consultancies, Terrapin Bright Green.  Aptly titled, “The Nature of Air: Economic and bio-inspired perspectives on indoor air quality management ,” the paper highlights research surrounding indoor environmental quality.

Co-authored by Dakota Walker and Bill Browning, Bill is known as one of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists, as well as a pioneering advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business, government and civil society. 

The Nature of Air

Summary: Poor indoor air quality diminishes cognitive functioning. For employers, reduced work task performance translates into a lower return on their investment in employees. Indoor air quality management remains an industry challenge as efforts to improve air quality, and subsequent occupant wellness, often come at the expense of energy performance. Insights from atmospheric cleaning mechanisms have spurred the development of air purifying technology to realign air quality management with the fundamental processes found in nature. Doing so allows for better management of pollutants that emanate from indoors and helps to decouple air quality with the amount of air brought in from outside.

Poor indoor air quality hinders an employee’s ability to be present and productive at work, which lowers the revenue they bring in to a company.

  • If you take two identical offices, with one having four-fold higher indoor air pollution levels, employees at the office with worse air quality will be around 3.8% less productive. That office of 100 employees, will have wasted $326,496 in unproductive salary and benefit expenditures annually.
  • Per square foot, a company spends almost 20 times more on employees than on rent and office operating costs combined.
  • We breathe in approximately 11,500 liters of air per day.

Traditional IAQ management often increases a buildings energy use, pitting occupant health against energy performance.

  • Conservatively ventilation alone accounts for 10% of a building’s energy consumption–not including energy for heating and cooling.
  • Gensler found some air filtration systems can cause a 7% increase in energy use for the typical commercial office building.

Earth’s atmosphere has managed pollution loads for millions of years using minimal energy and only basic tenets of physics and chemistry.

  • The atmosphere has the capability to clean itself by using a combination of agglomeration, oxidation, and sterilization.
  • Each of these three mechanisms is carried out or supported by atmospheric air ions

Making use of these same atmospheric cleaning mechanisms, indoor air quality can be managed in a more circular and energy-efficient way.

  • By fortifying the air itself, indoor air can be continually purified and recycled until high co2 levels necessitate introducing new air.
  • Because ion concentration is typically lower indoors, increasing air ion concentration would also help buildings better mimic air conditions in nature.

By cleaning the air in the space itself, bi-polar ionization can better manage the many pollution sources that emanate from the materials and furniture inside our buildings. 

  • One review found that more than two-thirds of indoor and outdoor air quality studies find higher air pollutant concentration indoors than outdoors.


Founded in 2010 with its main headquarters in New York City, WeWork provides shared workspaces for technology startup subculture communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, small businesses and large enterprises.

            When our AtmosAir team is approached by new companies, building managers or engineers, oftentimes it is to learn of the efficacy of the AtmosAir systems.  As WeWork founders initially started their co-working real estate company, as “Green Desk,” with specific design efforts and office orientation geared toward eco-conscious sustainability, it only seemed natural that our similar company missions aligned.  Given that WeWork also has many tenants and sources for potential indoor air quality issues, AtmosAir helps to keep WeWork spaces healthy! 

Atmos’ Bipolar ions impact the DNA of bacteria and viruses, and WeWork was hoping to help protect their space’s inhabitants from illness.

            AtmosAir was installed on the 6th floor of the 18th Street New York City WeWork space this past spring.  The intention of this study was to measure the effect of AtmosAir air purification systems on the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of the space.  AtmosAir bi-polar ionization air purification systems were installed into the air handling units that supply air into the space, leading to Air quality measurements taken both before systems were installed and operating and after the AtmosAir systems in place.


Overall, AtmosAir was successful in reducing particulate, VOCs, and is helping WeWork conserve energy while maintaining a more efficient HVAC system.   

As a result of the subsequent testing, AtmosAir has been installed in multiple WeWork locations including spaces in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Shanghai, and other locations.


AtmosAir was recently featured on in an article aptly titled, “A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON VENUE AIR.”  Within the piece, editor, Tim Newcomb, went on to illustrate the impact AtmosAir is making on multiple athletic facilities, helping to improve overall athletic performance and health, all while lowering energy costs.

The article also showcases the evolution of AtmosAir’s entry into professional sports, which started over five years ago with the installation throughout The Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Before expanding the system throughout the entire venue, it had to be tested for efficacy in a portion of the building to prove how much cleaner the air was as compared to how much less energy was being used.

CEO, Steve Levine, knew that by proving the overall effectiveness of the AtmosAir systems to one team, it wouldn’t be long before others wanted their athletes and venue attendees to be breathing the same clean air.  “We felt like if we could use sports arenas and stadiums as educational platforms to really educate the fan base and different stadium-management companies on our technology, then it would trickle down to colleges and high schools and eventually the consumer,” Levine said. “It was a planned effort, and we felt we could make the greatest impact in sports because they want to protect their players.”

Furthermore, with teams training in such close quarters and being more at risk for contracting infections, trainers for the teams commented that AtmosAir has been making a difference in the overall sanitary side of the facilities, helping to reduce illness and allergies.

Levine notes, “When an outbreak of flu happened through the NHL, the (Los Angeles) Kings — the only team in hockey that had AtmosAir — didn’t have a single issue.”  Los Angeles Kings trainer, Chris Kingsley, has also said in a statement, “Continuous disinfection keeps athletes, players, coaches, training staff and fans healthier and safer.”

Venues Now also rounded up where sports arenas have come to know AtmosAir and where it is currently being installed.  In addition to the Staples Center, ‘AtmosAir has filled Golden 1 Center in Sacramento and will come to the new Chase Center in San Francisco when it opens before next year’s NBA season and also to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland early next year as part of continuing renovations there. The Dallas Cowboys have installed it in two training facilities and the system is already in place in Boston’s TD Garden, Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center and Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots use the system for training. Among ballparks, the new Globe Life Field in Texas will install the system, already in use by the Chicago Cubs at their training facility, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park and the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park.’

ATMOSAIR TESTING: Syracuse University Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory

As our team strives to make the air we breathe as healthy as possible, we continue to collaborate with universities that believe in sustainable, healthy friendly buildings. This past October, 2018, AtmosAir tested its technology at Syracuse University’s Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Jianshun Zhang, one of the world’s preeminent professors focusing on building environments and indoor air quality.

Concentrating on clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality, and water resources, SyracuseCoE’s Innovation Ecosystem improves built and natural environments—the places in which we live, work, learn, and play.  

This past October 2018, AtmosAir tested its technology at Syracuse University’s Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Jianshun Zhang, one of the world’s preeminent professors building environments and indoor air quality.  In addition to being an ASHRAE Fellow, Professor Zhang’s research ranges multi-scale BES from nano/micro-scale in porous media to buildings and urban environment, and involves engineering, architectural design, human health and performance.

The testing was performed on full-scale chamber tests to evaluate the technology’s performance for the removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) under full-scale chamber conditions.  Two AtmosAir systems that were properly sized for the chamber volume were provided and tested in the tests. The units tested were set at maximum flow rate and ion output condition during each of the two tests conducted.

For each test, a mixture of 8 VOCs (hexane, 2-butanone, iso-butanol, toluene, hexanal, tetrachloroethylene, ethylbenze and decane) were vaporized in the chamber after the chamber had thermally stabilized at the test condition.  After the VOC concentrations reached the steady state initial level, the air cleaner placed inside the chamber was turned on, and the concentration decays of the VOCs were determined by sorbent tube sampling followed by thermal desorption and GC/MS analysis. The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) was thus calculated for each VOC based on the measured concentration decay along with the measured concentration decay curves.


The testing showed the AtmosAir Bipolar ion technology to be significantly effective on reducing VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are gaseous contaminants that can degrade air quality and irritate occupants.  AtmosAir tested at over a 90% reduction rate on 8 common indoor VOCs, building on its proven, tested ability to significantly improve indoor air quality.

Visit AtmosAir at AHR 2019

AtmosAir Solutions will participate in the AHR Expo January 14th through January 16th, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Come visit us at Booth B1427, where CEO, Steve Levine, and other representatives from the company will be showcasing new products, software, and ideas for cleaner indoor air.

The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), is the world’s largest HVACR conference.  What once began as a heating and ventilation show, has since grown into the major HVACR event of the year, held in major cities across the U.S. The 2019 show in Atlanta will put the spotlight on over 2,000 of the top HVACR technology manufacturers and innovative new suppliers.

“Technology, operational demands, codes, and design objectives are constantly changing.  System designers, manufacturers, representatives, and contractors must continually adapt to a changing industry landscape,” notes Conference Chair, Corey Metzger.  The 2019 ASHRAE Winter Conference will provide a valuable opportunity for sharing of knowledge and information, and the technical program at the conference will provide a venue for a wide range of presentations and discussion.”

With more than 60,000 industry professionals attending from every state in America and 150 countries worldwide, AHR provides a unique forum designed expressly for the HVACR community.

Come visit us at AHR Expo in Atlanta, Booth B1427…we hope to see you there!

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As the seasons change and the colder temperatures prevent you from letting outside air into your home, oftentimes the quality of the air is greatly effected.

According to Healthy Living Guide, ‘Weatherproofing your house doesn’t solve the problem. It just means the pollutants have nowhere to go. In fact, the air indoors can be two to five times more toxic than the air outdoors. Worse, most people spend much of their time indoors in winter.’

Poor indoor air quality stems from a variety of issues: chemical off-gassing from furniture and appliances, odors, pet dander, mold, smoke and the chemicals in household products.

During the winter, respiratory issues also tend to increase and children that suffer from allergies, especially, have a harder time breathing inside the home space.

The good news: Small but significant changes can improve the quality of the air in your home.


Dust is a pollutant.  It can be especially harmful to children because they spend more time on or near the floor.

‘House dust is a mixture of dirt, dust mites, dander, pollen and other particles. Chances are lead dust has gathered, too, especially in homes built before the 1970s. To make matters worse, dust may also contain chemicals emitted by furniture, electronics, plastics and fabric’

By placing doormats in your entry ways that are regularly cleaned, you can help mitigate the dust that is spread.  You can also institute a no-shoes policy to cut down on the pollutants tracked into your home.

Healthy Living Guide also recommends using ‘a vacuum machine with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, making sure to clean the filter regularly. Follow with a damp mop and plain water to pick up any excess. You can also dust with a damp cotton or microfiber cloth.


Wall-to-wall carpets are nearly impossible to keep clean, trapping dust and other pollutants like dander and mold.  Experts recommend vacuuming at least three times a week to remove as much dust as possible.

But even if you can remove all the dust, carpets can also contain an array of harmful chemicals – in the fiber, backing, padding and glue, and in flame-retardant and stain-resistant, waterproofing treatments.

Your best bet is to remove the carpet altogether and replace it with wood or tile flooring.


When purchasing furniture, the last thing that comes to mind is how the pieces in your home can be affecting the air that you’re breathing.

Like carpet, upholstery is often treated with chemicals that are similarly harmful to people and the environment. Foam cushions can also be a problem because they’re made with petroleum chemicals that can emit VOCs.

According to Healthy Living Guide, ‘natural latex foam cushions are the best alternative. As with your carpets, make sure to vacuum regularly to control dust.’

And with furniture, it’s not just the upholstery that can be a source of contaminants.  Plywood, particle board and composite wood frames can also emit toxic chemicals.

When selecting furniture, attempt to purchase sold wood options.


Equipping your home’s air handler or HVAC system with an AtmosAir Bipolar Ionization unit can help reduce certain biological organisms such as spores, bacteria and even the tiniest viruses.

AtmosAir Bi Polar Ionization systems, as demonstrated in our numerous projects, provide a unique hybrid of air purification: particle filtration, VOC filtration, and airborne virus filtration.

2018: Key Spotlights:

We’re grateful to continue to partner with notable companies both domestically and internationally across the sports, gaming, hotels, army, commercial and residential arenas.  Below are a few project spotlights from the past year.

DOHA METRO (Doha, Qatar):

The Doha Metro is a rapid transit system currently under construction in Doha, Qatar’s capital city. The anticipated completion date is by the end of 2020, consisting of four active lines with an approximate overall length of 300 km and 100 stations in 2 phases.

Qatar Rail, the client in charge of the development of the first 3 lines (Red, Gold and Green) and 37 stations (Phase I) that make up the current Doha Metro system, saw the need to add powerful and effective indoor air cleaning technology to the larger, more crowded stations, such as those where several lines intersect, and also go deeper underground to accommodate the different levels. The largest station, which sits at the intersection of all 3 lines is the “iconic” Msheireb Station.

AtmosAir was selected by Qatar Rail as the air purification system of choice. AtmosAir is being installed in all 36 Air Handlers that serve the 5 levels of Mshreieb Station. The Msheireb station, and the rest of the 3 lines, are expected to open to the public in 2020.

Golden 1 Center:


AtmosAir was excited to announce our partnership with the LEED Platinum Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings!  Located in downtown Sacramento, the publicly owned arena is part of a business and entertainment district called Downtown Commons (DoCo), which includes a $250 million, 16-story mixed-use tower.

In addition to the Kings’ home games, the arena hosts concerts, conventions and other sporting and entertainment events.  Suite partners have access to three exclusive clubs on the premium level including two skyboxes that overlook the concourse with a direct view of the outside.   Total capacity is expandable to about 19,000 to accommodate concert audiences.

Sustainability is of great importance to the Golden 1 Center and the AtmosAir team is ecstatic to be a part of their efforts to “green up” sports.  By installing our system, the Golden 1 Center will also use AtmosAir to enhance HVAC energy efficiency and will give the arena the ability to shave peak load energy demand.

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Entertainment Center for the Arts:

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) Entertainment Center for the Arts is an 8,500-square meter arts center that boasts five venues, rehearsal studios, classrooms, practice rooms, balconies and gardens. The unique building intentionally looks different from existing architecture on the UCCS campus.

Despite being located over 1 mile above sea level in the beautiful, mountainous Colorado Springs, the designers still wanted to consider the indoor air quality issues that can arise, even in these pristine outdoor conditions.  UCCS management took into consideration the success of AtmosAir with providing reduced odor, allergen and bacteria environments for performers in similar locations such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and multiple training facilities for college and professional athletes throughout the US.  AtmosAir was installed throughout the building to make the space immediately able to be occupied following their renovation by removing VOCs and odors.

AtmosAir to Showcase at Greenbuild Expo 2018!

AtmosAir Solutions will be participating in this week’s Greenbuild 2018 International Conference and Expo, the world’s largest conference and exhibition purely dedicated to green building. AtmosAir will be located at exhibit #151. Kicking off on November 14th, this year’s Greenbuild theme centers around Human By Nature (Human x Nature) and brings together industry leaders, experts and frontline professionals dedicated to sustainable building in their everyday work.

The green building movement embraces all of humanity by making sustainable buildings and environments accessible to everyone, and in doing so, benefits the natural environment all around us.  As major sustainability advocates, our team at AtmosAir continues to promote wellness and resiliency in construction and urban development.

Achieving energy efficiency is a top priority for building engineers, property managers and business owners across the country. The biggest consumer of energy in a commercial building is the HVAC system. 

Modern design and construction practices seal heated and cooled air indoors for the purpose of lowering energy costs.  The unfortunate result is poor indoor air quality.  Even with adequate ventilation, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold spores, and other unwanted contaminants build up inside, leading to significant indoor environmental issues.

AtmosAir Bipolar ionization treats the air in the space we breathe.  AtmosAir allows a building to recycle clean, conditioned air, nearly eliminating all mold spores, VOCs, and other unwanted ultrafine particles — all while simultaneously saving on your energy bills.

AtmosAir BPI reduces particulate matter and breaks down the chemical structure of VOCs.  That means it is not necessary to dilute and replace the space with additional amounts of outdoor air, nor is it necessary to strain the air through airflow-restrictive filters.  Because you can now accomplish air purification without a cost penalty by recycling a larger portion of the total air volume, you can retain the energy savings you worked so hard to achieve.

CEO of AtmosAir, Steve Levine noted, “We’re elated to be back at this year’s Greenbuild Expo.  With sustainability within buildings and our environment of such great importance, we’re happy to share that our system has helped to enhance human health and wellbeing as well as energy efficiency on a greater scale.  Some of our clients have noticed a greater than 40 percent reduction in peak load, and a 20 percent energy cost savings — and that doesn’t include savings on reduced HVAC maintenance as demands on the system decrease.”

Come visit us at exhibit 151, where Atmos representatives will be showcasing new products and software that have been developed over the past year.

Wednesday, November 14, 10am – 6pm

Thursday, November 15, 10am – 6pm

We hope to see you there!

The Smell of Jet Fuel in the Morning

By Rob Root

Bob Root was a pilot for almost 40 years.  The first plane he flew was a T-34 at the Pensacola Naval Air Station while learning to be a Navy pilot.  A 747-400 was the last plane he flew after almost 30 years as a pilot for Northwest Airlines.

Each day on the tarmac Bob took a deep breath, “Nothing quite like the smell of jet fuel in the morning,” he would say.

But it was taking a breath that got him.  During a layover late in his career, in a public space somewhere in Paris, the deep breath he took contained a virus.  The virus attacked his heart and by the time he arrived back at MSP, he was too sick to ever fly again.

Bob battled his enlarged heart for 17 years, switched from flying planes to playing golf, and from “the smell of jet fuel” to “the smell of mowed grass.”  Then one day in a public space somewhere in Surprise, AZ, the deep breath he took contained a bacteria.  A bacteria called legionella pneumophila- Legionnaires’ disease.  He wasn’t healthy enough to fight off this bacteria and he died a few days later.

Nature combats airborne contaminants with positively and negatively charged ions.  In the most pristine environments, in the mountains or near a waterfall, the ion levels are high.  Those high levels of ions provide a natural ability to continuously disinfect the air.   When contaminant levels are high, in cities, at airports, in buildings, the ion levels are depleted.  The contaminants are not captured and we get to breath in the particles, gases and microorganisms.

For the past 50 years a technology has existed to mimic the production of positively and negatively charged ions.  This technology is called AtmosAir bipolar ionization (BPI).  Over the past five years BPI has been repeatedly tested and validated to be 99% effective against bacteria, 90% effective against VOCs (like automotive emissions), and 95% effective against ultra-fine particles.  Across the country (actually across the globe), AtmosAir BPI is being installed in hospitals, stadiums, universities, schools, airports, office buildings and hotels.  AtmosAir BPI is easy to install and has 0-36 month return-on-investment.  The air in those buildings is cleaner, safer and healthier for the occupants and visitors.

About a month before he breathed in Legionnaire’s disease, my dad and I stood on the first tee of the Desert Springs Golf Course in Surprise.  We both took a deep breath.  “Nothing like the smell of mowed grass in the morning…”

Rob Root is a Sales Director for AtmosAir Solutions located in Minneapolis, MN. 

A Breath of Fresh Air at the New Minnesota Wild Training Center!

Take a deep breath.  One of those breaths that you hold for a few seconds and then exhale slowly.  Can you envision the molecules that are in the air, interacting with the capillaries in your lungs bringing clean, fresh oxygen to your body?

But what if, right now, you’re in a TSA line at an airport (or better yet on an airplane) or in the waiting area of the doctor’s office.  Did you take a really deep breath, trusting that the air you’re breathing isn’t carrying some sort of bacteria, virus or mold that will make you sick?  Or what if you’re on a casino floor waiting for a spot at a poker table, or in a hotel room traveling for business, or in an office, comingled with dozens of your co-workers.  How about an aging building at a school, college or university?  What other particles, gasses, contaminants are being transported by the air that you are breathing?

Did you take that breathe deeply and appreciate how clean and crisp the air felt? 

Last week, I had a chance to visit the MN Wild’s new practice facility in St. Paul, MN.  The facility opened last December in a former Dayton’s Department Store building, built in the early 60’s. To get to the space, we went down a freight elevator to the basement, crossed a parking garage and then entered the vestibule.  Two steps into the space, the air was different.  The deep breathe I took reminded me of the air in Vail, CO.

There is a science to why the air feels, actually is, fresh and clean.  In the early 20th century, Albert Einstein discovered that air has natural conductivity.  Air naturally contains ions.  The ions are positively and negatively charged.  Those ions find and attach to the contaminants and either make them too heavy to stay airborne or render them harmless.

If you live and work in the mountains or in a rural area near a forest or lake, then the air you breathe is naturally clean and crisp.  There are plenty of ions to continuously scrub the air.  Everywhere else, nature needs mechanical help in order for there to be reasonably healthy air inside an occupied space.  Outside air is mixed with recycled (conditioned) air, filtered, and then pumped into the space we use for work, healthcare, traveling, exercise, education and more.  But in many cases, there are still too many contaminants to achieve continuously healthy indoor air quality.

Dr. Einstein’s discovery led to the development of device that measured air ions, then eventually to a device that created them.  That creative technology is called Bi-Polar Ionization.   Over the past 50 years bi-polar ionization has been tested and validated as successfully disinfecting air for bacteria, viruses, mold and neutralizing particulates, volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Today, with advancements in information technologies, connected devices, and smart applications, bi-polar ionization can be deployed and its effectiveness can be monitored and adjusted in real time to assist a building to maintain high levels of indoor air quality.

The MN Wild chose to add bi-polar ionization to their air handling system to give players cleaner, safer, healthier air.  Wild players have mountain fresh air in a workout facility, in a basement, next to an underground garage, in a 60 year old building.  The organization and its players have a more positive, productive work environment.

Wouldn’t every employee, customer, visitor, student, or guest want the same thing?

Rob Root is a Sales Director for AtmosAir Solutions located in Minneapolis, MN.