KCI is proud to announce the design and installation contract for a dynamic germicidal ultraviolet light (UV) treatment system in the rooftop air handling units of the firm’s Sparks headquarters building to reduce potential for community spread of COVID-19. A series of UV bulbs will irradiate air before it is circulated throughout the building.
We’re making a commitment to creating a safer workspace for our employees. The engineering industry has always been relied upon to generate solutions during crises, and we felt it was critical to lead by example.
Nathan J. Beil, PE, D.WREChief Executive Officer
By designing and installing a custom retrofit, KCI also hopes to inspire other commercial and institutional organizations to consider this and other approaches that can help Americans get back to work and school.
“As we learn more about this virus, we must continue to do what we know works: wearing masks, keeping socially distant, and practicing safe hygiene — while also doing whatever we can to innovate to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We applaud Baltimore County’s own KCI for exploring this potential new tool in our shared fight against this deadly disease.”
Germicidal UV (or UV-C), one of three types of ultraviolet irradiation, is a range of wavelengths that has been proven to disarm many bacteria and viruses by deactivating their ability to replicate. KCI’s system is designed to deliver a dosage of shortwave irradiation dynamically as air flows through the units to the ductwork and into the firm’s workspaces. Static applications focus on treating the surface of coils located in the air handlers instead of the air itself. During design, engineers created a sizing and cost model that can help owners of commercial, educational and government buildings to consider a retrofit.
Many assume that adding UV-C to an existing system will be complicated and costly. We wanted to prove that it didn’t have to be. These systems aren’t one-size-fits-all, but they can be efficient, cost-effective solutions that can be deployed quickly.
Adam Rickey, PE, CPDVice President, M/E/P Discipline Manager
The KCI team utilized the best science available and consulted with academic experts to calculate strength and duration of dosage for the new system. Testing completed by the manufacturer, American Ultraviolet, resulted in specific dosages for a host of different viral and bacterial treatments. Because research is ongoing specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, engineers built in a factor of safety by exceeding recommendations for coronaviruses.
“This is another great example of timely innovation from a Maryland company that can contribute to safely rebuilding the economy and our education systems worldwide,” said Maryland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Christine Ross, CCE, MBA, MS.
Employees will have to continue following local health regulations and CDC guidance, including social distancing, hand washing, and masks to avoid potential near-field exposures. KCI will also be installing body temperature scanners at the front and rear doors of the building.