Healthier buildings through the use of biospheric ventilation.
After reviewing the impact Proptech can have on your wellbeing through circadian lighting, (the lack of) noise, flora, and an active lifestyle we now tackle another very important aspect of life inside buildings: indoor air quality.
TakeAir is devoted to bringing the benefits of outside environments to the inside of your home. Central to the vision of TakeAir is that a forest is healthy because of the richness of the community of micro-organisms living in it, called its microbiome. Inside a building, the incoming air conditioning filters filter out unwanted bacteria which results in an environment with only a limited variety of bio-organisms in it. This allows unwanted or harmful micro-organisms to overtake and create unhealthy conditions. TakeAir makes sure your building gets the optimal amount and type of micro-organisms by injecting them into your ventilation system safeguarding an optimal balance of available micro-organisms.
imagery courtesy TakeAir.world
The TakeAir solution consists of 3 main elements:
A bag of probiotics, a mixture of soil-loving organisms that are specifically grown in the TakeAir lab.
An infiltration pump that can inject the soil-loving organisms into the ventilation system.
An IoT solution that monitors the makeup of the air in the system and controls the release of additional organisms when they fall beyond a certain threshold.
TakeAir’s approach fits in a modern trend where there is a growing awareness that not all bacterias are bad. In fact, some are really good, so optimizing for the survival of the most beneficial species instead of nuking all micro-organisms without distinction seems to be a sensible approach. For some time now the probiotics trend has been burgeoning in the food industry, even becoming a mainstay in yogurt marketing, so using probiotics to improve the air we inhale is just a logical extension of this.
Using biological components to prevent mold and fungus to thrive in ventilation ducts is definitely a more green and sustainable approach to air treatment compared to the use of artificially created chemicals.
👎 Why not?
The science on what the optimal mix and dosage of the injected material is hasn’t been settled yet. How much forest do you need in the air that you breathe? and what are the consequences if it’s too much? As with any type of new technology the long-term effects need to be monitored closely.
Furthermore, as Danone painfully learned, even with scientific studies supporting them, health claims regarding the beneficial nature of probiotics are often met with skepticism by regulators.
The company was founded in September 2016 by Jo Pannecoucke and Marie-Paule Coryn in Ostend. They moved the company to Ghent to be closer to the University of Ghent where a lot of the fundamental research concerning relevant microbiomes is conducted. They received much positive feedback from the market and in 2019 they opened a North American office in Toronto.
🕵️♀️ Who else?
There are a lot of air purifiers on the market, including those produced by household names like Delos, Dyson, Xiaomi, and many others but they are of the micro-organism killing kind. So in this overview, for the sake of brevity, We will focus on the bio-organism enhancing competitors.
The Israelian company Betterair offers a whole range of ecological microbiome balancing products ranging from the BA-1800 aimed at large facilities to the Biotica800 for home use and the Biologic for portability. Further on they even offer their probiotics via spray.
Breezo, another Belgian company offers probiotic air treatment, for people, but they also have an offering specifically for the Agro-industry.
The Belgians really seem to love their airborne probiotics, because Erric, another Belgian company has a probiotic air purifier that uses ultrasonic atomization to spread the microbes in your room.
Renuaire is an American company that offers both an HVAC integrated purifier as well as on-the-go probiotic purifiers, hopefully, their airconditioning tech has a more modern feel than their website.
Another company, Fairair, offers probiotic sprays and cleaning products that should be used as part of your HVAC maintenance routine.
📚 Further reading?
Bloomberg: To Make a Building Healthier, Stop Sanitizing Everything
✨ Things happening
This article about the nordic concept of hygge or coziness caught my eye this week, a great read on how to tackle covid related isolation… For people who love city building, this might be a great game to gift yourself for the new year… Thanks for the massive response on the call for guest-writers, next week we have already one scheduled…See you next year, and take care!