Armstrong World Industries and Awair Inc. — a provider of total, integrated Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) solutions — have partnered in the creation of the Armstrong + Awair IEQ Monitoring Program. This will utilize Awair technology to identify a school’s IEQ issues, generating data that is then used to determine the Armstrong healthy ceilings solutions that can best improve the indoor environment on multiple levels. They are in the process of conducting multiple pilot programs, equipping a variety of school districts with Awair sensors to help identify and improve their IEQ.
The Awair technology makes rich IEQ data available to customers through the latest networking, hardware and cloud technologies, measuring seven key parameters: temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, noise and light. After information is gathered, Armstrong can recommend a variety of ceiling, wall and air purification solutions based on that data.
“The impact of poor indoor environmental quality—which includes everything from acoustics to lighting to air quality to thermal comfort to safety—goes far beyond ensuring students have a healthy place to go to school,” said Mark Hershey, senior vice president, Americas, Armstrong World Industries. “Improving these factors can lower absenteeism and improve test scores. Working with Awair, we are helping schools provide confidence to students, faculty and parents that children and teachers alike are spending their days in an environment designed to support their well-being and education.”
The monitoring program collects IEQ measurements for 30 days while the school is occupied. The results are then analyzed and a report identifying any areas of concern is issued along with recommendations for addressing those concerns. One of the first schools to participate in the Armstrong + Awair IEQ Monitoring Program, Panther Valley Elementary School in Nesquehoning, Pa., was able to improve its IEQ after addressing the issues the Awair monitors revealed about ventilation rates and light levels. Following the recommendations in the report, the school was able to improve light levels by adding new LED light fixtures and replacing some ceilings with Armstrong® Ultima® high light-reflectant ceiling panels. In the areas where ventilation issues were identified, the school enhanced its IEQ by installing in-ceiling air purification systems from the Armstrong® 24/7 Defend™ Portfolio to filter and purify the air.