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Ventilation Considerations for Mixed-Use Buildings

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Mixed-use buildings are an ideal fit for many communities for the variety and diversity they offer—a blend of retail, offices, and housing that allows people to live close to necessities and perhaps even jobs. But that same variety also necessitates careful attention to ventilation to ensure performance and efficiency overall and for each unique tenant.

Like office buildings, it’s critical to select ventilation to suit the individual needs of each retail space. A dry cleaner using chemicals or a gym full of heavy breathers has very different air quality requirements than a small boutique or travel agency. Calculate ventilation needs by taking into account not just the size of the space, but how many people will be using it, what they will be doing, and what equipment they will be using.

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Systemair’s Geniox air handlers simplify the ventilation design process, allowing for easy incorporation of energy recovery systems to preserve efficiency during the fresh air exchange. The versatile air handlers feature a modular platform that allows for complete customization of heat and energy recovery, cooling, filtration, mixing, and other elements.

Since tenants can change over time, project owners should try to consider how individual spaces might be used in the future, keeping in mind that it’s easier to dial down a system (staying within good practice and code) than to overcompensate or fully replace later.

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Condos and apartments above are more straightforward, with a known quantity of likely people. Much of the decision-making comes down to how much is the team willing to spend to improve indoor air quality above code minimums. Will there be a centralized system with individual controls in each unit and metered usage? Will each unit have their own in-wall or ducted system?

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