There’s no doubt that live sports is one of the most missed things since the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as we hope it returns, the risk of reopening stadiums to the public remains high.
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Sports facilities across the country are looking for answers to the million dollar question: How can we provide a safe and clean environment in a closed arena for all the athletes, crews, and fans in attendance?
Luckily, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of NFL franchise the Minnesota Vikings, has already set up their infrastructure to face these upcoming challenges.
AtmosAir™, a leading clean air solution provider, together with Kaiterra, the company behind the acclaimed commercial air quality monitor, the Sensedge, have been helping U.S. Bank Stadium install an air quality filtration and monitoring system to improve its overall sustainability efforts and combat the risks of virus transmission post COVID-19.
The facility also successfully achieved a LEED Platinum certification for operations and maintenance, the first sports facility to claim this honor.
Since its first opening, U.S. Bank Stadium has quickly become one of the most impressive sporting facilities in the country, hosting the 2018 Super Bowl.
Sustainability has always been something that U.S. Bank Stadium strives for. After receiving a LEED Gold certification for sustainability in the building and construction phase, the stadium set its goal to become the first sporting venue to achieve LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification.
Setting the benchmark for the sports industry, U.S. Bank Stadium’s dedication to sustainability is also proven to be a smart business decision — when the pandemic hit in early 2020, the facility had a head start compared to its competitors in getting the stadium ready for reopening post COVID-19 lockdown.
When it comes to reopening the stadiums to athletes, staff, and fans, the crucial question remains:
How can we provide a safe and clean environment in a closed arena for all the athletes, crews, and fans in attendance?
Besides following security and sanitation guidelines from health authorities, facilities are looking into the latest technologies to reduce the risks of virus transmission and increase the level of confidence among fans. Since then, air quality has been the center of discussion because of the transmission pattern of the coronavirus.
As recognized by the World Health Organization, the coronavirus can spread through contact-based and droplet-based transmission, and there’s an increasing number of scientists and medical professionals that warn of potential airborne transmission through aerosolized viral particles.
While the exact transmission methods remain complex, sport facilities like the U.S. Bank Stadium agree that strategies and technologies need to be maximized to ensure safety — from ventilation to purification and sanitation to continuous monitoring, a complete air quality system solution needs to be developed and put into practice to keep the environment safe.
"Air quality used to be something people consider when they want to go the extra mile, but since the pandemic, it has become an absolute necessity for businesses and facilities to reopen safely.”
- Liam Bates, CEO of Kaiterra
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority approved a 10-year contract for over $1 million with AtmosAir™ to install its system in the U.S. Bank Stadium. The complete system solution included the installation of 53 air handling units equipped with AtmosAir™ tubes and 50 Kaiterra Sensedge commercial air quality monitors, covering a total of 1.8 million square feet of space.
The air treatment system provided by AtmosAir™ is powered by the company’s famous bi-polar ionization technology. Suitable for commercial facilities, buildings and residential homes, the system actively reduces VOCs, bacteria, dust particles, mold spores, and odors in the space.
AtmosAir™’s solution is more crucial than ever during this pandemic, as it significantly reduces viral spread by actively neutralizing contaminants. Recently verified by Microchem Laboratory, one of the preeminent laboratories for testing EPA and FDA registered sanitizing products, AtmosAir™’s bi-polar ionization technology is proven to neutralize coronavirus by 99.92% within just 30 minutes of exposure.
Integrating Kaiterra’s Sensedge commercial air quality monitors into the system is also proven to be an effective solution. The 50 Sensedge units are spread across the whole facility, providing accurate air quality readings and actionable insights in real-time to evaluate the performance of the air treatment system and help identify areas of improvements. The timely information can be reported directly to the staff on the ground as well as the management team and board members and could also be made available to the public to further increase their confidence in the facility.
Even before the pandemic, the benefits of the strategies and technologies put into practice were obvious: U.S. Bank Stadium achieved LEED Platinum with 86 points, six points above the score required for the highest certification.
According to Bradley Vogel, the facility’s project manager for sustainability and operations, “[we’ve] been able to cut our electricity bill by around 25%, which for us is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Meanwhile, the effective system powered by AtmosAir™ and Kaiterra put U.S. Bank Stadium way ahead of the curve compared to its other competitors in its readiness to reopen to the public. In a few weeks or a few months, when sport facilities are finally fully operational, fans who visit the stadium will not only be welcomed by the cleanest air, but also be assured that their safety and wellness is in good hands, so that they feel comfortable enjoying the long-missed experience.
"When life gets back to normal, it will be an expectation at this point that facilities prioritize air quality and provide assurances to their clients, employees, and tenants that major steps are being followed to mitigate the spread of not only VOCs, mold and dust, odors, etc. but viruses, whether COVID-19 specifically or others.”
- Steve Levine, President and CEO of AtmosAir™
To learn more about this project and what role Kaiterra’s Sensedge played in it, reach out to our team below: