Indoor air quality was becoming more important to business owners even before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down in 2020. But with a newfound appreciation for healthy indoor air, many are asking, how do we safely get employees back to work? How do we ensure a healthy office environment, now and for the long haul?

The good news is that most office buildings and other indoor spaces already have a built-in platform for clean indoor air technology: the HVAC system.

In October 2020, Wray Ward, a leading marketing agency that had recently opened its new Charlotte office, was looking for a solution that would allow its employees to return to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency leveraged patented needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI®) technology from Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) as part of a layered approach. Wray Ward President and Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Appleby wanted to give her employees peace of mind and recognized the NPBI system offers a proactive, safe and cost-effective approach to cleaner air.

“Our employees absolutely feel more comfortable returning to an office with technology that’s effective against COVID-19,” she said. “We want our team members to feel safe and confident when they’re in the office, and GPS helped us do that.”

Wray Ward experienced impressive results that demonstrate how well the NPBI products are working to clean the air in their office building. In fact, data collected before and after installation show almost a 600% increase in overall ion count and a measurable decrease in particle counts.

Why choose needlepoint bipolar ionization?

NPBI works with existing HVAC systems to actively and effectively clean the air.

  • Proactive air treatment: NPBI technology is a proactive approach to cleaner air. While other, passive systems only clean the air that passes through the HVAC unit — via either a HEPA filter or UV light — GPS products actively treat the air in the space.
  • Safe solution: NPBI delivers clean indoor air without producing ozone or other harmful byproducts. All products are UL registered and certified to be ozone-free.
  • Nominal investment with a high return: Installation is usually completed within one day, and GPS systems do not require routine maintenance or replacement parts.

A Purpose-Built Air Cleaning Solution

Systems for improving indoor air quality are not one-size-fits-all. Each GPS system is selected to fit the space and the specific needs of the customer.

The experienced team at GPS determined the right products to maximize ion output throughout Wray Ward’s 38,000-square-foot adaptive reuse office building.

Product selections depended on:

  • The size of the space (how much air needs to be cleaned in different areas of the office)
  • The office layout (considering how air flows to all rooms)
  • The type of HVAC equipment in use (for mounting compatibility)
  • The ionization produced by each GPS product (how many ions each product generates)

In October 2020, Wray Ward installed several GPS products:

  • Modular Ionization Air Purification Device (GPS-iMOD®): GPS-iMOD is the go-to system for large open areas and is the primary air purification system installed at Wray Ward to cover the most square footage. It also has a coil cleaning element, which helps control biofilm or other contaminants that can potentially grow on HVAC cooling coils.
  • Auto-Cleaning Ionization System (GPS-FC48-AC™): The self-cleaning GPS-FC48-AC was installed in Wray Ward’s on-site photography and video production studio. The Studio, a 2,500-square-foot space separated from the main office, is served by a dedicated HVAC system with a fairly short, direct path for airflow. This means the airflow’s velocity is strong, and the ions don’t have to travel far to the occupied space — making the FC48 the perfect choice.
  • Auto-Cleaning Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization Air Purification Device (GPS-DM48-AC™): The auto-cleaning, lightweight GPS-DM48-AC was installed in the hallway outside of a production area to augment ions traveling through a long, indirect duct run.
  • Compact Auto-Cleaning Ionization System (GPS-FC24-AC™): The compact, auto-cleaning, lightweight GPS-FC24-AC was installed in an open office variable air volume (VAV) box at the back of the building to provide a localized ion boost.

The results speak for themselves:

Data collected before and after installation of NPBI products at Wray Ward show a significant increase in overall ion count and a measurable decrease in particles.

  • Increased ionization: Before Wray Ward implemented the GPS air purification system, the average overall ionization level was 1,100 ions/cubic centimeter (ions/cc). After just two months, the average ion density throughout the office was almost 6,000 ions/cc, nearly a 600% increase.
  • Decreased particles: Real-time data shows that particle counts are significantly lower when the HVAC system is running and releasing ions into the airstream. The fewer the particles (think dust and pollen), the cleaner the air. This was particularly important for Wray Ward’s new office building to help control construction dust.

NPBI actively makes the air Wray Ward employees and visitors breathe cleaner and healthier. The system makes the office a model for a proactive approach to clean indoor air.

The Indoor Air Quality Solution Every Office Needs, Today and Tomorrow

The COVID-19 pandemic made us all more aware of the importance of good indoor air quality and pathogen control. And with increased awareness comes increased responsibility for business owners to ensure that their employees feel safe and comfortable coming back to work.

While this pandemic may be the most significant public health crisis many of us have seen in our lifetime, it will not be the last. That’s just one of many reasons clean indoor air must remain a top priority.

Learn more about how NPBI technology can help businesses create a safer environment for employees and visitors.