- Air tracing firm Poppy released its BreatheScore Kit to provide building owners and operators insights into air changes and ventilation performance, according to an Oct. 30 release shared with Facilities Dive.
- The kit, which utilizes a particle sensor system to measure and verify the delivery of clean air per occupant, can be used to measure indoor air ventilation and filtration before and after upgrades and renovations, it says.
- The kit is designed to help facilities managers set baselines and compare their buildings’ ventilation performance with ASHRAE Standard 241 requirements so they can either implement upgrades or reduce ventilation to the required level, Poppy says.
States are likely to start incorporating ASHRAE Standard 241-2023, which sets requirements for the amount of clean, pathogen-free air for building occupants, into their building codes starting later this year, according to Poppy.
The company released an air tracer system earlier this year to help operators meet the standard. The new BreathScore Kit is designed to be a more “cost-effective and rapid way” for buildings to periodically measure their clean air flow, the company said.
“We have heard that the air quality standards are being looked at in about 10 or 11 states in the U.S. right now, and they’re being considered in Canada as well,” Sam Molyneux, co-founder of Poppy and member of the ASHRAE subcommittee responsible for building commissioning and maintenance, said in an interview. “There’s a building wave of momentum to make them law and bring them into the required standards.”
To prepare owners, operators and technicians to meet the new standard, Poppy also launched a training and accreditation program for conducting BreatheScore tests and scans. The company says the training can be completed in four to six hours and that 100 HVAC leaders have already enrolled in the program, with over 500 buildings using its system to measure HVAC performance.
Poppy also announced a partnership with Ainsworth, a Canada-based multi-trade company that provides HVAC and energy solutions across North America. Through the agreement, Ainsworth will use Poppy’s BreatheScore Kit to ensure sustainable air quality and compliance with ASHRAE and CDC standards across its commercial building portfolio.
Despite the expected adoption and regulation of air quality standards, Steve Horwood, vice president of business development at Ainsworth, said that “awareness is horrible,” adding that a key aspect of the partnership centers on educating the industry about the importance of monitoring air quality and ventilation.
“We need to educate our technicians on what [Standard 241] is, why it is, how it helps and how simple it is to now use,” Horwood said in an interview. “We found people just continually overventilating and not following ASHRAE guidance. Poppy is another tool for us to establish the effective level of that ventilation rate. Whether it’s because of the ASHRAE Standard of Outdoor Air, or Standard 241 with Poppy, we can convert those reduced air changes into energy savings.”
Poppy says the kit is capable of measuring the effectiveness of all natural and mechanical ventilation, purifiers and filters at professional-grade accuracy, covering up to 5,000 square feet of building space, and that it allows “service providers to test a ten-story building and deliver results within a day.” The company also offers optional lidar equipment to customers that want to capture and integrate ventilation data into a building’s 3D digital twin.
Horwood said that compliance and regulatory measures related to building air quality and ventilation are approaching rapidly and highlighted the importance of preparing buildings to meet the standards. “If you’re not ready ... you’re going to get whacked across the head. One day, the wake-up call will be that you are uninsurable. The wake-up call will be that your best tenant is leaving because you’re not sustainable.”