The White House hosted a Summit on Improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), bringing together public health and ventilation experts, private sector and education leaders, and other stakeholders to highlight the benefits of improved indoor air quality in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, showcase schools and businesses that are leading the way in making improvements and underscore the importance of all building operators doing their part. SMACNA participated in the event, and SMART was specifically mentioned by name. Below are the highlights from the program:
- The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge: Earlier this year, the Biden Administration launched the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, which set clear recommendations all building owners and operations can follow to improve indoor air quality. The Summit featured a discussion with private sector leaders representing Salesforce, Silverstein Properties, and Monumental Sports and Entertainment on the actions outlined within the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge they have taken to improve indoor air quality across their buildings. Additionally, the Administration launched a new website – WhiteHouse.Gov/CleanIndoorAir – where businesses and other organizations can learn more about the Challenge and pledge their commitment to improving indoor air quality in their buildings.
- Improved indoor air quality for schools: The Summit featured participants from Denver Public Schools (Denver, CO) and Clark County School District (Las Vegas, NV), two school districts that have made great strides in improving ventilation and filtration in their buildings – including through the use of American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.
- Highlighting organizations Promoting Indoor Air Quality in their Buildings: The Administration pledged to continue to engage industry, scientific, and labor leaders to identify ways to recognize the efforts of buildings and leaders around the country that have moved toward ventilation and indoor air quality improvements. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a Request for Information seeking input from experts and the public on how to best document efforts toward improved ventilation, filtration, and air cleaning in buildings.
- Finally, later this month, the Department of Energy will also announce its criteria for recognizing schools making indoor air quality improvements as part of its Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign. In addition to sharing success stories through annual recognition, this campaign offers technical assistance to plan and implement energy efficient health and safety improvements in school facilities.
Click here to review the recording of the Summit.