UL and SafeTraces Launch A New Healthy Buildings Certification To Verify Aerosol Removal

On March 2nd, UL and SafeTraces launched the UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration programme to measure the performance of HVAC ventilation and filtration for aerosol removal. The programme is an addition to UL’s suite of testing and verification services for the indoor environment and aims to address specific concerns with the spread of infectious aerosols, such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza, within indoor spaces. The certification uses the SafeTraces veriDART solution, which mimics and tracks the spread of infectious aerosols around a building to identify high-risk areas and verify the effectiveness of HVAC filtration and ventilation. Buildings that successfully pass the programme will receive a certification mark to reassure occupants that the indoor environment has been assessed and verified for aerosol transmission and indoor air quality (IAQ).

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused building occupants to become increasingly concerned about the healthiness of their indoor environments, leading to a drastic rise in healthy buildings solutions. As businesses encourage employees to return to the workplace, real estate executives realize they need to reassure occupants that the workplace is safe and healthy and are investing in a wide range of technologies, such as IAQ sensors and exploring building certifications.

Established certifications such as Fitwel, WELL, and RESET are comprehensive and widely recognised but expensive and difficult to obtain. However, more targeted certifications that verify more specific healthy building factors, such as IAQ, can provide a quicker, more cost-effective way to reassure occupants. For example, WeWork partnered with Bureau Veritas, a testing, inspection, and certification services firm, to certify their global portfolio for COVID-19 health and safety measures, response plans, and space modifications. UL and SafeTraces aim to address this market need, along with firms such as Carrier, which also offers a targeted certification for IAQ that examines occupancy levels, ventilation, filtration, thermal comfort, and building operations.

Real estate executives looking to verify the healthiness of their indoor environments and reassure employees returning to the office should consider the growing selection of targeted healthy building certifications. To understand the complexifying market for healthy buildings solutions and select the highest value solutions, look out for our report Strategic Focus: Using Technology To Advance Your Healthy Buildings Programme, which is due for publishing within the next two weeks.

SB UL and SafeTraces Launch A New Healthy Buildings Certification To Verify Aerosol Removal

Ben Hext

Analyst, Verdantix

Ben is an Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. His current agenda covers hardware and software solutions for energy management, on-site power generation, and COVID-19 mitigation management. He holds an M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Durham University.