Government Case Study
U.S. Army, Fort Belvoir
Fort Belvoir houses over 145 mission partners and serves a diverse community of over 216,050 military personnel, civilians, retirees, and families.
Night Vision and Electronic Sensor Directorate (NVESD) was directed to identify products that would improve indoor air quality (lAQ) in its 50+ buildings located on Fort Belvoir. NVESD is one of the premier RDT&E Labs in the Department of Defense with over 3,000 military and civilian employees. The majority of NVESD buildings contained numerous IAQ issues ranging from high levels of mold spores and pollens, to pathogens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
For years the employees working in these facilities complained about a variety of lAQ problems and associated health issues. Most complaints were concerning respiratory infections, allergic reactions, itchy eyes and other symptoms. These complaints were brought to the attention of the NVESD Safety Office’s Industrial Hygienist who determined that low IAQ was causing a noticeable deterioration in the health and well-being of employees, and consequently a decline in employee productivity, reduced morale and a high level of time off due to illness.
After an extensive search for solutions, NVESD decided to introduce AtmosAir bi-polar ionization (PI) air purification system to the Facilities Branch Chief. NVESD decided to run a controlled test in its HQ building. The building’s occupants were surveyed, without being informed of the survey’s intent, to understand the extent of their problems, reasons for time-off and perceptions of the air quality within their work area. Results of the survey amplified the need to move forward with the installation of the AtmosAir purification system.
On a trial basis, the eight (8) AtmosAir D100 units were installed to the building HVAC system. These units were allowed to operate for 30 days, again without the knowledge of the buildings’ occupants. During the test period, indoor air samples were taken and monitored an immediate improvement in IAQ was noted. Correspondingly, gradually, air damper settings controlling the amount of outside air were reduced from 40% to as low as 5% by volume.
Tests were performed during the hottest period of the summer. No degradation of IAQ was detected at even the lowest outside air damper settings. The most significant finding was the reduction in the electricity used for conditioning the indoor temperature and humidity. Results indicate a 25% reduction in the metered electricity required to condition the air in the tested space.
In each case, the particulates, VOCs, bacteria, molds, pollens and other contaminants were reduced below detectable levels. At the end of the month-long test, the Safety Office conducted a follow-up occupant survey. Perceptions of the indoor air quality improved across the board and the number of complaints were dramatically reduced. With this level of success, the Facilities Branch directed that NVESD lab buildings install the AtmosAir systems.