24/7 Customer Service 301-315-6260

Air Quality Improvement in the COVID-19 Era: Bringing Employees Back to Work Safely

Shapiro & Duncan has been proactive in preparing and providing mechanical solutions to help combat the spread of viruses in both our Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland and at our Fabrication Shop in Landover, Maryland. Like many businesses, we want to provide the healthiest working environment for our employees. 

This case study discusses a three-tiered approach to providing clean air for our business Dilution, Disinfection and Increased Filtration. The cost of installation, operation and maintenance considerations are included as well.



  • Assessment of spaces – Our facilities serve multiple functions with different design constraints, which serve different types of mechanical systems so there was no universal solution.
  • Evaluation of solutions – There are multiple technology solutions, which address COVID-19 transmission. Each has its own capacity and restriction for effective deployment.
  • Product availability and ship times – Demand is high and production is limited due to supply chain production capacity and pandemic shutdowns. Orders can take months to fill.
  • Compatibility and placement of the new devices – Evaluating the existing system and the area served is critical to selecting the correct solution.


  • Engineering Analysis – We analyzed our current mechanical systems’ capabilities and the impacts of modifications to select the most effective solution and the locations for installation.
  • Controls modifications – We modified our controls settings to bring more outside air into our facilities throughout the day increasing our daytime indoor air changes to twice a day.
  • Bipolar ionization – We added these devices to the supply air throughout our facilities to destroy most pathogens, reduce particulates, eliminate odors, allergens, and other pollutants.
  • Upper air UV lights – We placed these devices in our higher traffic areas for an additional layer of protection.
  • Increased filtration – We upgraded our filtration with MERV 13 filters in our equipment capture as many contaminants as possible.


  • Our Initial Investment – $2 per square foot to purchase and install the equipment.
  • Operating Cost– Each bipolar ionization device consumes between $6 and $12 of electricity annually. The UV light arrays consume between $12 and $45 annually.


  • Bipolar ionization – Each device requires an annual light cleaning and the ionization tubes are replaced every 2 years.
  • UV lights – Bulbs must be changed annually.



According the Environment Protection Agency the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. Spending so much time inside a workplace with poor indoor air quality, especially during a pandemic can affect employee health and productivity.

Shapiro & Duncan has been providing air quality solutions and upgrades for over 44 years. Our in-house engineering, construction and maintenance teams will work together to build you a plan and reopen your space.


Contact us by email at upgrades@shapiroandduncan.com or by phone at (240) 778-2166