InBuilding - Volume 2, Issue 1 - 32
lation can spread contamination
and allergens, which can remain
airborne or settle onto surfaces
of objects that are widely shared,
from carpets to furniture to specialized equipment.
Given what is known about the
microbiomes of indoor environments, the question remains:
Can bioinformed design promote
healthy indoor ecosystems? The
use of probiotics has demonstrated the potential to restore the
normal building ecology. Probiotics are a class of live microorganisms that have long been
incorporated into certain foods
and dietary supplements and that
are now showing promise as an
air and surface purifier.
The rationale behind the use
of probiotics is straightforward.
Traditional purifier sprays indiscriminately kill all bacteria, both
harmful and beneficial, causing an
imbalanced, sterile environment
that could increase the risk of
pathogens' evolving resistance.
In contrast, probiotics offer
a natural, chemical-free and
environmentally friendly solution
to battling "bad" bacteria: The
probiotic consumes contaminant
waste such as dust mite fecal
matter, pollen, dead skin cells and
pet dander, while maintaining the
balance of essential bacteria in the
environments where people live,
work and play, additionally reducing bad odors.
One probiotics application
that can be integrated into new
building design has been commercialized by Florida-based BetterAir. The company focuses on
32 inbuilding-magazine.com Volume 2, Issue 1
protecting indoor environments by
leveraging the power of "Environmental Probiotics," comprised of
water and bacillus ferment. This
patented technology works on a
microscopic level and repetitively
releases billions of micron-sized
Enviro-Biotics™ to purify the air
and clean surface and objects,
resulting in a healthy biome inside
These purification systems
directly tap into existing air ducts
and are designed to automatically
release Enviro-Biotics into the
air. These are carried by airflow
throughout the indoor space, subsequently landing on every interior
surface. BetterAir's product line
treats spaces of various sizes.
Specific units are commercially
available that are designed to handle spaces of up to 5,000, 25,000
or 45,000 square feet. Each of
these model units is designed for
direct HVAC system installation
and is both fully programmable
and customizable. No special
infrastructure is required.
In addition to providing a
friendlier microenvironment for
building residents and inhabitants, the system provides auto-
matic and continuous cleaning
inside of air ducts, thereby
increasing their longevity.
A four-week analysis of air quality
in a private residence in West
Palm Beach, Fla., conducted in
2016, demonstrated the potential
of this approach. Prior to use
of probiotics, measurable concentrations of dust mite, cat and
cockroach allergens were detected
in various rooms of the house.
In contrast, at the conclusion of
the testing period, and following
the use of probiotics, the levels of
these allergens were undetectable.
Additional analyses undertaken
at hospitals in Israel and Italy
showed similar efficacy of probiotics released in tandem with the
facilities' HVAC systems.
In light of the importance of
healthy indoor environments for a
building's workers and inhabitants,
efforts to mitigate the hazards
posed by SBS should be a priority,
and probiotics might prove to be a
worthy tool in this regard.
Taly Dery is CEO of BetterAir, developer of the
world's first probiotic air and surface purifier.