For Indoor Air Quality Tech, What Happens When the Outdoor ‘Fresh Air’ Is Bad?

Everyone wants the best air quality in their office and home, but what happens when the outside air is as bad or worse than inside? Where’s the room to breathe?

While COVID prevention remains a prime concern for landlords and tenants, finding the right balance between spending on the best localized indoor air-filtering technology and how much “fresh” air to bring into a building is an ongoing challenge, experts said.

AtmosAir Solutions employs such tech to businesses, including commercial real estate companies, for HVAC air purification and monitoring. Founded in 2004, the global company numbers Google, Comcast, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and the National Football League among its clients, as well as Empire State Realty TrustBrookfield (BN)CBRE (CBRE)JLL (JLL) and Cushman & Wakefield (CWK).

“We started as a testing company and we migrated into a solutions company,” said Steve Levine, the president and CEO of AtmosAir Solutions. “When we wanted to go out and test 10 different elements of air quality and hand them a report, not everybody wanted to get that report because they might be worried about what they would find. ‘If we have an issue around air quality, how are we going to fix it?’ ”

Having found a European-created, bipolar ionization product called dielectric barrier discharge, AtmosAir began to sell the patented technology to customers.

The result is an air purification system that mimics the positive and negative ionization found naturally in mountain air, said Levine. “When you come down the mountain, the ions have been depleted. We’re basically adding some of mother nature into the indoor environments, and then we’re letting those ions, like little Pacmen, attach to contaminants and particles bigger, heavier and easier to filter out of the air.”