By Daniel J. Bollinger
Steve Levine has been purifying the air we breathe since 2004 with AtmosAir, an indoor air purification system that utilizes BiPolar Ionization to eliminate pollutants and restore air quality in commercial, industrial and residential buildings. AtmosAir’s systems are currently installed in some of New York’s most iconic addresses. I recently met with Steve to find out about his commitment to bring products and technologies to market that improve the quality of our environments.
How did AtmosAir get started?
AtmosAir began as an air testing company that would analyze and write 30-page reports on customer’s current air quality. It then became apparent that the clients didn’t just want the report, but also a solution. After many years of looking at the best technologies around the world, AtmosAir found the solution and brought it here from Europe. AtmosAir has grown ever since. Today health and wellness/sustainability initiatives are growing exponentially, and most Fortune 500 companies and schools are focusing on how they can give their clients pristine air quality.
What sets AtmosAir apart?
AtmosAir is the only technology to make the invisible—visible. It is also the only company to patent the bipolar ionization air cleaning method. AtmosAir is a hybrid technology—it works on reducing air particles/scary gaseous elements such as formaldehyde that research says can cause cancer. It also has significant HVAC cost savings benefits. AtmosAir conducts air testing on every job and has been active in the market for the past ten years, gaining arguably the most amount of air testing data/results data.
Where do you currently have AtmosAir systems in New York?
Now, AtmosAir systems in New York include Empire State Realty Trust Properties, Tower 45, JLL, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Citibank locations, Hilton Times Square/Hilton New York, and more locations.
Do you find more people are using air purification systems in a commercial or residential setting?
We get calls every day from individuals who have asthma and allergies or potentially have an odor issue in their home. At the same time, we’re working on major commercial construction projects every day. The balance is probably 80/20 right now of commercial work to residential work.
What do you see as a leading trend/challenge in sustainable energy in the Tristate area?
Awareness and culture. As with all movements, some companies, and people believe in the sustainability movement. Others seem to be a little slower to understand the benefits and the cost savings of implementing sustainable energy practices. With time, more people will hear and read the research and data around implementing energy efficiency initiatives, providing clean air, clean water, and the best possible environments for employees, guests, etc.
What opportunity is there for AtmosAir on a global scale?
Air quality is a global issue and a growing issue due to the number of people on our planet and the emissions we’re creating. In 1900 we had 1.6 billion people on the globe. By 2050 we are expected to be a world of 9.7 billion people. There are many cars on the roads, industrial pollution is growing, and emission rates are growing which all correlate to poor outdoor air quality and poor indoor air quality. AtmosAir is working actively to raise awareness and eradicate these issues at the same time.
How do you feel AtmosAir is contributing to decreasing our carbon footprint?
When a building can spend less on fans, air handler sizes, chiller plants, heating plants, etc., the carbon production as well as energy consumption is drastically reduced. AtmosAir is trying to implement this throughout New York schools and offices because HVAC utility costs are on average 45 percent of service expenditures. If we can decrease that consumption by 10 to 25 percent, there are significant savings in all sustainability facets.
How will AtmosAir change the Real Estate industry in New York?
The fact is we aren’t in the mountains. We’re 8.5 million people living in a land area a bit over 300 square miles. We’re spending 90 percent of our lives indoors. Maybe 95 percent in some cases. We need our indoor air to be pristine so that we can live longer, healthier lives. If we can continue to grow the conversation about indoor air quality while providing a measurably cleaner indoor air quality (IAQ), we’re serving our purpose. Relatively speaking, not many buildings today are implementing enhanced air purification like an AtmosAir system. We want to be known and feel we are known for bringing proactive air cleaning to the New York market.
Has AtmosAir been installed in any notable homes?
Most notably, AtmosAir was installed in the home of retired American business executive, author, and chemical engineer Jack Welch. Welch was chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. There have also been some very exciting installations recently in the homes of actors and philanthropists.
What progress/impact on indoor air quality do you see AtmosAir having over the next ten Years?
We hope to grow the conversation and be a market and thought leader. We feel like we were ten years out in front of a market that many people see growing in a large way. The importance of indoor air quality will be eternally significant. It is our job to continue to educate and stress the importance.
What are the benefits of cleaner air in the workplace?
Companies understand the value of keeping their workforce healthy and more productive. Gensler and JLL state that it’s worth over $1,500 to $2,000 per employee in less absenteeism with Cleaner Air. New York City has a poor reputation for toxic air quality, pollution, and high levels of particulate. AtmosAir has created a solution by providing employees with pristine indoor air quality and a healthy, sustainable environment throughout the work day.