Let's Talk Shop, Episode 15

IAQ and the Reopening of Schools, Buildings and Offices

In Episode 15 of Let’s Talk Shop, host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, chats with Tony Kocurek, SMACNA National Secretary–Treasurer and president of Energy Balance and Integration in Albuquerque, about how testing and balancing is being used to improve indoor air quality, as well as the role sheet metal contractors are playing in reopening schools, restaurants, offices and other businesses.


“The HVAC system is kind of like your body and your lungs – basically it’s the heart and soul of a whole building,” Simon begins.

“That’s right. It’s more than just the airflow coming into the room, it’s the air handling unit that’s moving that air, and it’s the filters pulling the air through, and where is it getting that air from? — how all of that works together,” says Kocurek.

What kind of preparations do you think we need to make to our systems to help with getting them ready to reoccupy buildings?

“We’re getting a lot of calls from schools that are hiring both an engineer, a contractor and then someone like myself to do assessments, and we’re working as a team to take a look at what’s needed, how to get things back into shape, whether or not things can even get put back into shape,” said Kocurek. “Before COVID, nobody really thought about the air changes in a room, and there were a lot of schools that didn’t — during the wintertime — have any air flow coming into them.”

“Those design systems that looked at those CO2 sensors as being the only thing that told them that they needed that outside air — I think that’s going to go away,” Kocurek predicts.

Listen to the full episode* to learn more about IAQ and reopenings.

*Episodes of Let’s Talk Shop can be played on SoundCloud and iTunes.