City of Auburn Partners with MacDonald-Miller to Make Air Inside Buildings Safer During COVID-19 Pandemic

Feature shared in Auburn Examiner:

The city of Auburn has used the last few months, during the COVID-19 shutdown, to retrofit its buildings to make them safe for people to work and do business inside. The city has retrofitted 18 buildings – from the Senior Activity Center to the Humane Society, City Hall and Auburn Municipal Airport – to make sure the indoor air is as safe as can be for employees and visitors during the COVID crisis.

“Building owners and operators are taking the time during the latest shut down to do all they can to prepare their buildings to safely welcome employees and customers back inside,” said Gus Simonds, president of MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, the heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) contractor the city hired to work on its buildings. “The key consideration is safety, since we know the virus is airborne and spreads more easily indoors. The goal is to make indoor air as safe as outdoor air.”

The city of Auburn recently installed new state-of-the-art bipolar ionization units in the 18 buildings it runs. Bipolar ionization units, which fit into existing duct work and are slightly bigger than a smoke detector, flood an area with positively and negatively charged ions that can kill microscopic organisms, such as viruses in the air and on surfaces.  When dispersed, ions seek out and bond with particles in the air, creating clusters that are large enough for an HVAC system to filter out.

Cities like Auburn are using the COVID shutdown to retrofit their HVAC systems so they are prepared to welcome employees and the public back in for important municipal services once this latest shutdown is lifted. Many are also using “smart building” technology to remotely monitor systems inside unoccupied buildings to make sure the systems are running safely and efficiently.

Buildings in Auburn that received clean-air upgrades include: White River Valley Museum, Auburn Courthouse, Senior Activity Center, PRAB Gym, Parks Maintenance & Operations, Parks & Recreation Building, Mountain View Cemetery, Maintenance & Operations, Golf Course, City Hall, Humane Society, Auburn Ave. Theater, Annex Building, R Street Building, 100 Auburn Ave. Building, Warren Building, Les Gove Multipurpose and the Airport, said city of Auburn Communications Manager Kalyn Brady. “These upgrades were part of the increased COVID-19 protections that we put in place for employees and visitors.”

Learn more about MacDonald-Miller’s services here: Indoor Air Quality during COVID-19.

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