Global Plasma Solutions’ proprietary air treatment technology renders SARS-CoV-2 virus inactive and adds layer of protection to cleaning and safety protocols in response to coronavirus

In their reopening efforts, several large event venues have selected and installed needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI®) technology from GPS®, the leader in indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions, to enhance cleaning protocols in response to COVID-19. When the coronavirus first hit, theaters, conference and convention centers, arenas, stadiums and other venues quickly adopted enhanced cleaning policies but were swiftly forced to cancel events and close their doors as the country quarantined.

Twelve months later, and in step with the rest of the hospitality industry, they are exploring reopening in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state guidelines. In addition to following guidelines for capacity, social distancing and mask requirements, venues are expanding cleaning protocols including air purification as research on the spread of the virus has shifted focus from surface contact to airborne transmission.

One such example is the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) in Charlotte, North Carolina, which recently announced the installation of GPS NPBI technology in all of its managed venues including the Charlotte Convention Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Bojangles Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and Spectrum Center. Additionally, these venues are utilizing enhanced cleaning measures, and thermal camera units have been added to the Charlotte Convention Center to continuously measure body temperatures in large groups of employees and guests entering the building.

“The NPBI technology and thermal camera systems allow us to add an additional layer of cleanliness, mitigate risk and enhance the already-robust cleaning practices in place within our managed venues,” said Tom Murray, chief executive officer of the CRVA. “The health and well-being of our guests, employees and visitors to Charlotte are always our top priority, and we appreciate our partnership with the City of Charlotte and their commitment to using CARES Act funding in support of the hospitality industry.”

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida, installed GPS NPBI technology at the recommendation of TLC Engineering in December 2020 as part of its ongoing COVID-19 response plan. The venue has been hosting outdoor events and smaller-capacity indoor events but was looking for a way to improve the indoor air quality as it sought to welcome more patrons into its various spaces.

“Indoor air quality has been very high on our radar in addition to increased surface sanitization and implementing Health screening, temperature checks, masks and social distancing measures,” said Tom Wright, Senior Director of Facilities for the Straz Center. “We thought sanitizing the air and maximizing the amount of outside air flow should be high priority. With such humid and hot air in Florida, you can only get so far with bringing outdoor air into the building; that’s why we decided on the needlepoint bipolar ionization technology to better optimize our indoor air quality.”

The team conducts regular ionization and volt measurements to ensure the technology is producing the appropriate number of positive and negative ions and has worked closely with GPS on installations and troubleshooting.

“We’re giving something back to the community by continuing to safely offer performances,” Wright added. “We’re going to do everything we can to welcome audiences back into our venues while keeping them safe and feel that GPS NPBI technology is a very effective tool in reaching this goal.”

GPS-patented NPBI technology plays a pivotal role in efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus when paired with a venue’s existing practices and cleaning technologies. NPBI technology delivers cleaner indoor air by reducing harmful particles and pathogens including mold, bacteria, allergens and viruses and is highly effective in reducing disease-causing pathogens, such as those responsible for COVID-19. GPS NPBI technology was found to reduce 98.3% of active SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air after 60 minutes, based on independent laboratory testing.

Additionally, NPBI also tackles odor-causing VOCs. That means less outdoor air intake is required to keep things fresh. With lower air intake requirements, facilities can reduce upfront HVAC equipment costs and cut ongoing energy costs. GPS is the only company on the market to offer self-cleaning product solutions that do not produce ozone during the ionization process.

“Indoor air quality will continue to be a consideration for the hospitality industry long after COVID-19, as it’s an integral part of one’s experience within a space, whether it’s attending a convention or enjoying a sporting event or performance,” said Charles Waddell, founder and chief technology officer of Global Plasma Solutions. “Our products are built to be long-lasting so that venues such as these can continue to offer their guests a safer, more comfortable experience.”

Additional venues currently utilizing GPS are the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Oklahoma Convention Center, the Cleveland Convention Center, the Philadelphia Convention Center and AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.