The National Air Filtration Association (NAFA) has announced 15 recipients of the Clean Air Awards for 2007, including six from the Southern states.
The Clean Air Award is presented each year to building owners and managers that take steps to significantly improve the quality of their indoor air by increasing the level of air filter efficiency and improving the protocol involving indoor air quality components of their HVAC system in 10 categories. Recipients include:
• Four Houston Center-Crescent Real Estate Equities Ltd., Houston, for a 647,246-square-foot facility that has a 12-story office building atop three retail levels and one parking level. Filter Technology Company Inc. of Houston completed upgrades to all air handlers. The HVAC system air filtration retrofit involved upgrades from MERV 6 to MERV 8 prefilters and 11 to 14 final filters. In addition, repairs or replacements were made to all units for gasketing and unit pressure reading gauges. There are monthly inspections made of HVAC units and an annual coil cleaning and drain pan cleaning schedule.
• Baylor Sciences Building, Waco, Texas, a facility for multidisciplinary collaborations in research and teaching. The 508,000-square-foot facility contains 15 laboratories using 260 vent hoods to remove harmful gases and vapors. Twenty-two large HVAC units change the air 45 times each hour. Baylor removed all lower efficiency filters and replaced them with MERV 8 filters, using MERV 14 as final filters. All filters are gasketed before installation to assure there is no bypass. Detailed maintenance guideline sheets prescribe performance, frequency of change, equipment identification, tagging, and recording procedures. Aramark Higher Education Services, which manages the facility, worked with Star Air and Glasfloss Industries worked with Baylor personnel to assure correct change-out schedules based on pressure gauge readings. As a result, Baylor has realized an overall reduction in total air filtration costs.
• International Paper Company-Prattville Mill, Prattville, Ala., for one of its large manufacturing facilities. The project was undertaken with the commitment of International Paper maintenance personnel and the help of Industrial Filtration Services of Silverhill, Ala. The mill had low efficiency filters with some makeup air units having no filtration at all. Beginning with an updated filter list and list of areas that needed to be retrofitted, Prattville Mill began a yearlong program to improve its indoor air. All coils were cleaned and air handlers were retrofitted with MERV 11 or better filters. Gauges were calibrated and gasketing repaired and replaced along with unique filter applications applied to those units that had no filtration.
• Kosair Children’s Hospital-Norton Healthcare, Louisville Ky., for mechanical innovations at its full-service, free-standing hospital. Working with Koch Filter Corporation of Louisville, recent upgrades include installation of pre-filtration that is coupled with a layer of carbon filtration that has eliminated any potential foul odors from coming into the facility from air intakes located near loading docks and other sources. HEPA filters are used in all mandatory spaces and work is in place to move toward HEPA filtration being used throughout the entire hospital. This, along with attention being paid to gaskets on frames and filters helps ensure the cleanest air. Constant monitoring of pressure gauges ensures that filters being used are operating efficiently and to their fullest potential. Also, part of the normal PM schedule is routine coil cleaning which helps maintain HVAC system efficiency.
• The Mayborn Museum Complex, Waco, Texas. With NAFA certified technicians on staff at Mayborn, air filters and systems are a high priority. The museum has installed nylon-seal track seal and gasket systems in the filter racks with MERV 8 prefilters and MERV 14 final filters for particulates. Additional molecular filtration includes activated carbon trays to remove and clean the air of harmful gases and chemicals that can damage artifacts. Working with Star Air and Glasfloss Industries, Aramark Higher Education Services, manager of the facility, and Baylor Facility Services worked together to assemble a detailed preventive maintenance program that shows anticipated energy savings along with better protection for the museum environment.
• McCoy Building Supply Centers, San Marcos, Texas, a locally owned and operated building supply company with stores in 85 locations throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Mississippi. Over a several year period, McCoy personnel have worked with the Joe Fly Company of Dallas to reduce repairs costs to HVAC units by instituting a scheduled maintenance program on their HVAC units. First, they upgraded filtration to MERV 8, and installed holding frames with gasket seals to eliminate bypass. Coil cleaning was next on the list and all units, along with the store interiors, were cleaned and upgraded as needed.
Candidates for the Clean Air Awards are nominated by both NAFA members and members of the facility management community, and must submit detailed and specific steps taken towards cleaning the indoor environment. A NAFA Certified Air Filter Specialist qualifies the submissions. Awards are judged by the NAFA Clean Air Award Committee and each recipient receives a custom designed trophy and recognition for their effort.