National Air Filtration Association recognizes outstanding work at VisTaTech Center.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still very much a part of everyday life, it’s comforting to know that Schoolcraft College has taken a leadership position in ensuring clean air in campus buildings.
That dedication and diligence was recognized on Thursday, October 21, as Schoolcraft College won a National Air Filtration Association (NAFA®) Clean Air Award for the VisTaTech Center. Schoolcraft is the only American college or university to win this award, which recognizes leadership and excellence in air filtration.
“We’re very pleased and honored to receive the NAFA Clean Air Award,” said Stephen Green, Director of Facilities Management. “It shows the dedication of our team at Facilities wanting to make the air as clean as possible.”
That dedication is readily apparent, said Larry Krass, Account Manager with Tri-Dim Filter Corporation in Belleville.
“I have been an air filtration specialist for over 25 years and there are locations that will not and do not take care of the HVAC units,” he said. “I know firsthand that some colleges only change the HVAC filters twice a year and final filters every three to four years. Schoolcraft College has a great staff that takes the time to do the maintenance needed to keep students, employees and community members healthy and safe.”
To be nominated for the clean air award, each nominee must earn a total of 52 points using the criteria set forth by NAFA. In addition to achieving the minimum point requirement, nominees are judged on their due diligence in providing a clean and healthy building environment.
Krass said facilities are gauged on a series of actions taken to increase filtration in their facilities. Schoolcraft College, for example, earned a high MERV* rating and received top points for this section.
In addition, Schoolcraft College earned high marks for:
- Maintaining a filter maintenance program with quarterly filter changes
- Gasketing filters to ensure all air flows through the filters and does not bypass the filters
- Having digital filter monitoring devices in place to alert if a filter needs changing
- Regular coil cleaning to keep the coils free from debris and mold issues
“I have to work hard with each facility and assist them in what is needed to give the best indoor air quality,” Krass said. “Some locations only want to order filters and are not interested in replacing gasket or cleaning coils. When I find a team like the team at Schoolcraft College, I look forward to helping to do the right thing.”
Green said Facilities looks forward to adding more buildings to the award list.
“This is just the beginning,” he said. “The VisTaTech Center is such an important building because it’s a hub for our campus and the community. You can see we have more people here now and for them to know the air is clean offers tremendous peace of mind.”
*MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values and reports a filter’s ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. A micron is one-millionth of a meter. For comparison, the average diameter of a human hair varies between 70 and 180 microns. According to the EPA, the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles.