Episode #10 – How ZONEZ is using revolutionary air filtration to keep offices safe

No matter what you do for work, chances are, your workplace has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people that work in an office, this has meant a transition to working from home, or very reduced time in an office with limited capacity. Though some people thrive working remotely, many employees enjoy the separation of work life and home life and look forward to the day they can physically return to work.

However, with so much uncertainty around when the virus may actually disappear, this is incredibly difficult to build a timeline around. Even when socially distanced in an office building, the air is still shared. In fact, it’s one of the most vital shared resources in any indoor environment.

Though many companies have installed improved air filtration technologies in their HVAC systems, what makes so many people uncomfortable is that the air often takes hours to make it into the HVAC system before it’s cleaned and recirculated back into the space.

One innovative company, ZONEZ, is rethinking the ways in which we treat our air in the office environment after the pandemic forced them to shift their product offering. We had the pleasure of sitting down (virtually) with Sande Golgart, President of ZONEZ, a company that started the year building modular, prefabricated office spaces that are installed in a couple of hours.

Their sound-treated, clean-looking work zones can be installed in a few hours with no mess and very little office downtime, and companies can easily move the spaces when they grow and change buildings.

ZONEZ has seen big success since launching, working with companies like IBM, Hitachi, Ford, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Toyota, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, and many more. But when COVID hit, they needed to quickly pivot. Their goal as a company was to have zero layoffs during the pandemic, and they needed to keep demand high to do so. So they shifted their focus to research, helping provide value to companies in a time when only essential spending could take place.

After a few months of research and development, they rolled out their Clean ZONEZ, a modular office space solution that offers very effective air filtration. They focused on their goal, and because they had team members with experience designing negative pressure rooms and clean rooms used by the pharmaceutical world, they were able to move quickly.

Initially, the plan was to create their own filtration system; but after seeing how immediate the need was, ZONES partnered with a company who has been in the air filtration business for decades, and whose technology could be licensed. They already had all the accreditation needed, and all that was left was to apply this filtration technology to their existing model.

The result is an impressive sound-absorbing material that’s fabric-like, easily cleaned, and can be layered with aluminum, pre-threaded holes to keep their modular tech at the forefront. They sought collaborators to accelerate their plan, rather than just trying to create something entirely on their own, and it worked greatly to their benefit.

Heading to the ZONEZ site, you can see the impressive tech firsthand, and they even have a video that shows how microparticles in the air are treated by the filter, compared to acrylic shields we see up everywhere now.

Tune in to this week’s show, and you’ll hear even more about how this innovative technology hit the market so quickly and effectively. We’ll also discuss how it works, what kind of filters are used, and discuss the design of the product from concept to market.

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