A smart HVAC system is one of the most effective pathways towards the WELL Building Standard which is a revolutionary new way of linking human health and well-being with building design. Developed by architects, engineers, scientists and other health experts, the WELL Building Standard focuses on seven key areas of human health and wellness: air quality, water efficiency, nutrition, light and glare, fitness, comfort and mind.
In order to become certified, buildings undergo a rigorous evaluation process. The highest level of certification is platinum, reserved for buildings that have demonstrated exceptional performance in these areas.
Achieving WELL Platinum Certification can have numerous benefits. Research has demonstrated that Well certified buildings earn from 4.4% to 7.7 % higher rent per square foot compared to their non-certified comparative peers in the same location. In addition, WELL buildings see a 12% reduction in energy use and a 40% decrease in water consumption, saving costs for commercial real estate owners.
In order to earn points towards WELL Platinum Certification, your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system should be optimised for indoor air quality. Let’s look at how a smart HVAC system can help you achieve WELL Platinum Certification – and what to expect in terms of benefits.
What is a smart HVAC system?
The HVAC systems accounts for 40–60% of a building’s energy use. This makes it one of the biggest consumers of energy in commercial buildings. A smart HVAC system uses advanced technology to automatically adjust the heating and cooling settings. It makes these adjustments based on changes in the environment. This makes the process more dynamic than the traditional set-and-forget systems.
How to get started?
Retrofitting existing buildings with Smart HVAC systems or installing them in the new construction is a good way to start. When retrofitting an existing building, wireless sensors are installed throughout the space. The sensors send data to the central controller via the BMS (Building Management System). It then adjusts the HVAC settings accordingly.
For new constructions, the smart HVAC system is integrated into the building’s design and controls from the start. This allows for a more holistic approach to optimising the building’s energy performance.
How a Smart HVAC System Can Help Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
A smart HVAC system adapts to real-time data from multiple sources. This includes indoor air quality (IAQ) sensors that help to make adjustments as needed to maintain optimal conditions. For example, if volatile organic compound (VOC) levels begin to rise, the system can automatically adjust ventilation rates.
A smart HVAC system also collects data that can be used to identify trends over time. This data can is used to make changes to operating procedures or schedules in order to further improve IAQ. For example, if data shows that VOC levels are consistently high during certain times of day, HVAC schedules or cleaning schedules could be adjusted accordingly.
The WELL Air Concept is a strategy that promotes clean air and minimises human exposure to harmful contaminants. This helps to maximise productivity, well-being and health. A smart HVAC system helps to improve IAQ by promoting clean air and minimising human exposure to harmful contaminants.
The first step to an effective strategy is to get yourself and your team familiar with indoor air quality terms. It’s important to understand how each pollutant affects people in your buildings. This can help you decide what to measure when it comes to meeting the WELL Platinum certification criteria.
Achieving WELL Platinum Certification
The WELL standard includes three certification levels – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each level represents an increasingly higher commitment to occupant well-being. To achieve Platinum certification, a building must go beyond the requirements for air quality set forth at the other levels.
One way to do this is by installing a smart HVAC system with features like real-time monitoring and data collection. By using data collected by the system, building owners and operators can gain insights into IAQ trends. This allows them to make changes to ensure that conditions are always optimal. Implementing proactive measures can help a building achieve WELL Platinum certification and create a healthier environment for occupants.
A smart HVAC system can also integrate with other building systems such as lighting and security. If sensors detect that there are no occupants in one area of the building, the lights in that area can be automatically turned off to save energy.
Achieving WELL Platinum Certification requires more than just meeting minimum IAQ standards. It also necessitates taking proactive measures to ensure that conditions are always optimal. One way to do this is by installing a smart HVAC system with features like real-time monitoring and data collection. By using data collected by the system, building owners and operators can gain insights into IAQ trends. This allows them to make changes to ensure that conditions are always optimal. Implementing these types of proactive measures can help a building achieve WELL Platinum certification and create a healthier environment for occupants and ensure you have a smart building.
If you need help figuring out how to get started on your WELL Platinum Certification journey feel free to book a no-obligation call with our expert team and we can help identify where to get started.
Incube is a predictive building optimisation platform on a mission to ensure that workplaces we occupy are healthy, productive and sustainable. We achieve this through products which enable buildings to adapt as their usage changes in real time. We help you do more faster by consolidating data from across data sources within your buildings, then use autoML to analyse and predict how you can optimise your HVAC’s performance.
Our core product, CubeOS, can pre-emptively automate tweaks to a building’s HVAC to maintain optimal air quality whenever and wherever people are in a building, whilst reducing energy costs and improving tenant satisfaction.
Book a call with us below if you would like a free Indoor Air Quality report.