IAQ Lab to Help Multifamily Clients Breathe Easy

This IAQ Lab could effect future multifamily homesThis IAQ Lab could effect future multifamily homes

Mayo Clinic is implementing its own study to observe the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ), further proving the growing demand in the healthy home market.

Known as the WELL Living Lab, the research space strives to examine the real-world impact of indoor environments and how it affects human health and well-being. The information garnered from the research will be used to create concrete evidence that can be carried over in finding more practical ways to create healthier indoor spaces.

In crafting the lab, Mayo Clinic partnered up with Delos. The company was a leading force in establishing the WELL Building Standard, the first of its kind to focus exclusively on human health and wellness in the built environment.

What is it and What Will It Do?

In essence, this space, which resembles a residential living area, will study the numerous variables that control the ever-changing properties of IAQ.

This is important because the average American spends nearly 90 percent of his/her time indoors on a daily basis. The air where we work, play and live is always susceptible to so many factors.

An overhead view of Mayo Clinic's WELL Living Lab
An overhead view of Mayo Clinic’s WELL Living Lab.

 

The goal of the WELL Living Lab is to tap into all these influences to create the most efficient HVAC and IAQ solutions possible.

“The WELL Living Lab has the unique capability to vary temperature, humidity, outside air quantity and ventilation and offer four different methods of filtration,” says Phil Williams, Delos executive director, project delivery.

By controlling these variables in residential live/cook/sleep settings, builders can identify which combinations of comfort—thermal, humidity and filtration—may provide the most desirable outcomes.

RELATED: Healthy Home System Gives Care to Air

What This Means for Multifamily Builders

These studies will prove hugely beneficial to builders, but multifamily builders especially, as the research will likely offer up new HVAC/IAQ options in individual units. This is important because each customer has different needs.

A section of the WELL Living Lab resembles an office setting
A section of the WELL Living Lab resembles an office setting.

What if you have an entire family of asthmatics moving into your community? What if you’re building for somebody with allergies? Or perhaps someone who is accustomed to a different type of climate?

“Ideally, builders will be able to include optimized base systems based upon different climates and then offer customized options/upgrades based upon a buyer’s personal choices and family health needs,” says Williams.

He adds that the lab’s diverse and flexible HVAC systems allow for a broad range of climates to be observed. IAQ solutions would differ when comparing a community in New York to a community in Florida.

Ultimately, the end goal is to create HVAC and IAQ options that are fully customizable to the individual. Williams refers to this as “my home, my system, my options.”

“Developers, builders, manufacturers and consumers will have the opportunity to see HVAC and IAQ move from a commodity product to a personal experience,” says Williams.

Multifamily builders should pay attention to these trends and studies, because when you’re constructing for the needs of many, you certainly want to make sure you’re addressing individual desires as well.

About The Author

Greg Vellante is a staff writer and multimedia specialist at TecHome Builder, as well as a content coordinator for AE Ventures events. He has over a decade of experience writing for various publications on topics that range from cinema to editorials to home technology. His favorite technologies fall into the A/V and home entertainment realm, and he’s keeping a close eye on the rising trends in robotics and virtual/augmented reality. Greg resides in Boston, holds a degree in Media Studies from Emerson College and pursues screenwriting/filmmaking in his free time.

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