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Healthy air, healthy schools


Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, announced it will pair its industry-leading OpenBlue Healthy Buildings portfolio with the new collaboration between UL and SafeTraces. In March 2021, UL, the global safety science leader, and SafeTraces, a market leader in DNA-based safety technology, announced a new program to evaluate the effectiveness of their indoor air quality, ventilation and filtration systems, and infection control strategies for airborne diseases including coronaviruses, in K-12 schools.

Independent, quantifiable assessments empower K-12 administrators to improve health and safety outcomes.

Through the program, Johnson Controls, UL and SafeTraces will leverage science-based indoor air quality and infection risk assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of mechanical systems in K-12 schools. Johnson Controls is the first in its industry to leverage data provided by UL and SafeTraces to collaborate with K-12 administrators to address any gaps and create a blueprint for a comprehensive, long-term clean air strategy.

Johnson Controls offers K-12 administrators tailored services for the full building lifecycle through OpenBlue Schools, a complete suite of connected solutions that deliver impactful sustainability, new student experiences, and respectful safety and security that combines more than 135 years of building experience with cutting-edge technology.

“Education authorities, like many of us, are aware of and more responsive to the critical need to ensure healthy school buildings. But there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy because school districts and the buildings they run are not homogenous,” said Nate Manning, Johnson Controls’ President of Building Solutions North America. “Science-based data ? from air quality and risk assessments to building connected technology solutions ? will drive each component of this program, which will bring peace of mind to students, teachers, and families as schools reopen.”

Transformative Collaboration: Connecting the Dots

Working together, these three leaders in healthy buildings offer K-12 schools a holistic program to create healthy classroom and campus environments.

“K-12 administrators and their facility managers are held to the highest standards of safety and rapidly evolving health regulation like never before. Through UL’s Healthy Building program, we have learned how the facility leaders who manage what they measure have far greater success managing risk than those who only address issues as they arise,” said Sean McCrady, director in UL’s Assets and Sustainability Performance, Real Estate and Properties group. “Not only will we equip K-12 administrators with independent evidence of the efficacy of their systems, but we can also now give them guidance to enhance their building operations into the future.”

UL’s Healthy Building program provides indoor environmental quality, energy and sustainability services for the built environment. In this instance, UL’s assessment consists of a comprehensive data review, HVAC system inspection, air quality testing, ventilation assessment, exhaust system verification, and risk assessment via SafeTraces veriDARTTM technology.

A core component of UL’s Healthy Building program, veriDARTTM by SafeTraces is the first aerosol-based solution for verifying HVAC system performance for health and safety in real world environments. With support from the National Institutes of Health and other leading research partners, veriDART leverages patented DNA-tagged bioaerosol tracers that safely simulate airborne pathogen mobility and exposure in order to identify potential infection hotspots, test ventilation and filtration efficacy, and inform safety and financial planning with independent science-based performance data.

“The question on every parent’s, teacher’s, and staff member’s mind today is – is my school safe to return to and how will we ensure it’s safe in the future?” said Erik Malmstrom, SafeTraces CEO. “veriDART is the best equipped solution in the marketplace to answer these questions for SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and other airborne diseases. We’re thrilled to partner with Johnson Controls and UL to deliver the gold standard program for school health and safety during the pandemic and beyond.”

Serving schools for well over a century, Johnson Controls is the industry leader in smart buildings and connected technologies and oversees the full lifecycle of building operations for school administrators. For example, Johnson Controls OpenBlue Schools integrates building IT, communications, administration and classroom learning systems with core building systems to create smart, connected schools. Examples of OpenBlue Schools solutions include predictive maintenance, contract tracing, social distance monitoring, mask detection and skin temperature screening.

Delivering Data-Powered Confidence

“Johnson Controls is the global leader in building data, UL is the global safety science leader, and SafeTraces is an emerging leader in building performance verification. Together, we can deliver science-based insights and actionable data analytics with Johnson Controls complete suite of connected solutions to help administrators manage operations more systematically, efficiently, and sustainably. Through our combined capabilities, we can empower building owners to transform their spaces and provide healthy environments confidently. Keeping our schools safe is imperative, but only the beginning. The future possibilities are boundless.” said Manning.

For more contact information visit: https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/openblue/openblue-clean-air
To learn more about OpenBlue, visit: https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/industries/k-12-education.

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