Saturday, July 4, 2020


Moab, UT

91.3 F

    Reduce the spread of workplace illness while maintaining energy efficiency

    Featured Stories

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    Ignoring own standards and experts, Utah commission pushes reopening

    The COVID-19 model from the CDC predicts an increase in deaths from the coronavirus from Utah in the coming weeks, and key indicators predict more hospitalizations are to come.
    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.
    Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

    Many commercial buildings that were almost vacant during the pandemic are now welcoming back employees and patrons, while facility managers are focusing on ways to optimize indoor air quality to reduce the spread of illnesses like COVID-19, according to a statement from Rocky Mountain Power.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), increasing outside air inside a facility helps flush out contaminants that may be inside buildings.

    “Outside air is essential to maintaining air quality indoors,” said Justin Farnsworth, general manager with the Muller Company and past president of the Utah Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA Utah). “But anytime that you increase outside air intake into a building during a hot summer day, it will decrease efficiency of your central cooling systems.”

    While improving occupant comfort and air quality in buildings can often create added cost, the key to avoiding budget challenges is maintaining energy efficiency. Farnsworth said he was able to reduce energy use at Canyon Park Technology Center in Orem by more than 6 million kilowatt hours per year through efficiency upgrades and practices. He said better energy efficiency often means better building performance.

    Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Business program offers a number of incentives to help building managers continue to leverage and maintain energy efficiency as they take steps to improve indoor air quality and make buildings healthier for workers.

    Other measures the CDC suggests for workplace health include:

    • Increasing total airflow supply to occupied spaces.
    • Ensuring exhaust fans in restroom facilities are functional and operating at full capacity when the building is occupied.
    • Using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplement to help inactivate viruses.

    Find out more about the Wattsmart Business program at

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