Innovative Air Filtration System Significantly Reduces Airborne Contaminants in Folia School Buildings
San Jose/Santa Rosa, Calif., July 14, 2020 – Blach Construction (Blach) and Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA), creators of Folia, introduce an innovative air-filtration method that scientifically reduces airborne toxins, including viruses, and improves air quality in its buildings. Developed in 2015 with Gregory P. Luth & Associates Structural Engineers (GPLA), Folia has been a healthy and high-performance, cost-effective school building alternative that is flexible, durable, efficient and sustainable. The addition of this new filtration system to all future Folia buildings increases schools’ abilities to readily maintain healthier classrooms in this pandemic era.
“Student wellness was a central aspect to developing Folia,” said QKA Principal Aaron Jobson. “We realized districts required a solution that could evolve to meet their changing needs in a myriad of ways. Fast forward to today and foremost among these needs is addressing the severe health concerns coronavirus has presented to school environments. Folia offers optimal ventilation, daylighting and now ahead-of-the-curve air filtration – all of which are linked to a healthier learning environment and stronger student performance.”
The new ionization-enhanced filtration system is a natural addition to the robust wellness features in Folia’s high-performance building design. Along with operable windows, efficient HVAC systems, natural ventilation and ample daylighting, new Folia buildings will feature an auto-cleansing ionization process to boost the purification power of the filtration system. Capturing polluting particles, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), germs, odors, mold and pathogens, the energy-efficient system scrubs them out of the air. Furthermore, and from mechanical and support perspectives, the ionization system adds no extra pressure to existing air-handling systems and is virtually maintenance-free.
“Folia has been a game-changer in more ways than one,” said Blach President Dan Rogers. “In addition to solving many common building challenges schools so often face, it is a beacon of wellness, which has become urgently important in the COVID-era. We are proud of the progress we’ve made with Folia overall and inspired by the fact that moving forward, all new Folia buildings will feature more robust, research-inspired systems that better support occupant health and high-performance learning and teaching.”
Folia is an education industry building solution developed by Blach Construction, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects and Gregory P. Luth & Associates (GPLA) Structural Engineers. While Folia is built with the same type of materials and structural systems found in conventional school buildings, it is delivered more quickly and at lower cost. It offers a flexible alternative to traditionally designed buildings with the same level of quality and longevity through a design that is optimized for prefabrication and fast installation. Folia is DSA (California Division of State Architect) pre-check approved, and because much of the building is prefabricated, it can be delivered in less than a year. This level of prefabrication also allows the project team to maintain a higher degree of safety and certainty during construction, mitigating weather extremes and minimizing waste and rework. It was designed to meet the building standards of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) with an emphasis on indoor air quality, natural daylight and acoustic performance. Folia is also solar-ready and can achieve Zero Net Energy (ZNE).