A Breath of Fresh Air: CA’s Air Exchange and Filtering

November 19, 2020

We built and designed Columbia Association’s (CA) facilities to have high rates of air exchange. Why? It’s best to have quality air flow where a number of people are consistently gathering and active.

The gathering isn’t happening right now, but pandemic has elevated the emphasis on air exchange. It’s important to have air turning over on a consistent basis when we’re trying to fight a respiratory illness. 

Even though our facilities were already promoting better airflow than many other buildings, that wasn’t enough for our team. Jeremy Scharfenberg with CA’s Construction and Facilities Management team walked us through how we’re making our facilities as safe as possible from an air quality perspective.


Fresh, filtered air

When we hear about air exchange rates inside any building, it’s usually talking about fresh air changes per hour. 

“So this room has a given volume in terms of its height, length and width, and there’s a certain volume of air in this space,” says Scharfenberg. “With our air conditioning systems, we are constantly bringing in fresh air to replace air in this room numerous times in a given hour.”

Nearly ⅓ of air flowing into CA’s fitness facilities at any given time is fresh outside air, Scharfenberg reports.

Simultaneously, the air conditioning system is filtering the air already in the room, making it cleaner and safer for us to breathe. Scharfenberg indicates that CA’s air conditioning systems filter the air in CA’s clubs nearly 10 times every hour.

“Over the course of a typical fitness class, the air in a room has been exchanged with fresh air and filtered numerous times,” says Scharfenberg.

One more layer of safety (and science)

Let’s also touch on those glowing pear-shaped light fixtures you may have noticed throughout our facilities. 


UV light air filterUV light air filter

Those cylinders emitting all sorts of neon blue brilliance are called Airius AirPure fans.

Not to get too technical, but the ultraviolet sanitizing fans use something called Photohydroionization (or PHI) Cell technology. The fans work 24/7 to neutralize up to 99% of harmful bacteria, viruses and germs in the air. Healthcare facilities and medical centers around the world use this technology in their own facilities.

Jeremy explains the process much better than we can.

Now, take a deep breath. We’ll get through this together.

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