In March, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House launched its Clean Air in Buildings Challenge to improve indoor air quality in buildings. This is a component of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
The challenge is a call to action and a set of best practices to assist building owners with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other contaminants indoors. The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge highlights a range of recommendations and resources, with significant input from SMART, for improving ventilation and indoor air quality, especially with the risk of spread of COVID-19.
Key actions outlined in the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge include the creation of a clean indoor air action plan, optimization of fresh air ventilation, the enhancement of air filtration and cleaning, and community engagement, communication and education around the importance of enhanced air ventilation.
In response, SMART issued the following statement.
“We appreciate the continued efforts of the Biden administration to address indoor air quality to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne viruses. Despite its importance, poor ventilation has been a widespread and persistent problem in buildings for decades. Proper ventilation is not only a key to our recovery, but it will also help cut building emissions, lower energy costs, ensure systems are meeting design intent and make buildings safe for occupants. HVAC systems are complicated, but SMART members and our training programs set the standard for the work that is required to ensure buildings are safe and healthy. Recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation will help buildings have the resources they need to improve indoor air quality. Employing a skilled, trained and certified workforce to complete this work is the surest way to ensure federal dollars are used effectively and efficiently to protect public health.”
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