- Modine has partnered with TMS Johnson on a suite of HVAC applications that school facilities managers can use to improve indoor air quality, according to a news release.
- TMS Johnson is slated to represent Modine’s K12-focused HVAC technology, Airedale, in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.
- The partnership comes at a time when facilities managers are working to improve indoor air quality in schools amid indoor air quality code updates and federal funding initiatives.
Schools often operate on shoestring budgets, leaving facilities managers constrained in their efforts to monitor and improve indoor air quality.
However, capital improvements budgets are starting to grow with the Department of Energy earmarking $500 million for a Renew America’s Schools program, funded by bipartisan infrastructure law. The DOE recently announced plans to disburse $178 million among 24 local education agencies across 22 states as part of the program, with funding aimed at the implementation of clean energy upgrades that improve indoor air quality and cut emissions and utility costs.
The Renew America’s Schools program sets a model for effectively using government funds to improve buildings across critical areas, Jason Hartke, vice president of advocacy and policy at the International WELL Building Institute told Facilities Dive.
Pointing to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Education Association states that roughly 29 million students and school employees in the U.S. breathe air polluted with mold, viruses, bacteria, asbestos, pesticides, smog, toxic chemicals and particulates from vehicle pollution. The NEA attributes poor air quality in schools to deferred building maintenance, improper ventilation, toxic construction materials, and an absence of state or federal mandatory standards for ensuring healthy indoor air in all schools.
“Indoor air can be diluted by increasing outdoor air. It can also be filtered to reduce particulate matter, and issues and trouble spots can be isolated using ventilation and even physical barriers,” Tom Kennedy, president of TSI Incorporated wrote in a Facilities Dive op-ed.
“With particulates, there’s a cost to filtering, but you can always do it even with air fresheners,” Kennedy said in an interview.
TMS Johnson, based in Minneapolis, supplies HVAC equipment to contractors and engineers in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. As part of its partnership with Modine, the company is adding Airedale’s line of K-12 school HVAC solutions to its roster of manufacturers.
Jake Feldman, vice president and general manager of indoor air quality at Modine, said the partnership will bring more recognition to the Airedale brand in the Midwest.
Modine’s high-quality HVAC applications for K-12 schools “will give us a full package for the school HVAC market,” TMS Johnson’s president Curt Ratajczak said in the release. He added that the partnership will provide ample leeway for TMS Johnson to evolve as an expert on Airedale units.
Modine’s partnership with TMS Johnson comes less than a month after its acquisition of the Jetson product portfolio as part of its purchase of Napps Technology in a deal expected to generate up to $8 billion in additional revenue.
Sam Molyneux, co-CEO of air health measurement company, Poppy, which has partnered with Primary.Health for air safety program for U.S. schools, told Facilities Dive that conducting tracer-based measurements in classrooms on a daily or weekly basis will generate the data needed to step up indoor air quality in schools. Poppy recently launched a digital air tracer particle system, BreatheScore Certify, to facilitate compliance with ASHRAE Standard 241, which sets minimum ventilation requirements to reduce the risk of airborne disease transmission.