CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. — A new air filtration system is being adopted by some Carmel-by-the-Sea restaurants to help employees and customers feel more safe when they’re indoors.
The initiative comes from the non-profit Carmel Cares. The system was created through a collaborative effort from AirByDesign and Wynd. Carmel Cares President Dale Byrne said that the creation for this pilot project was culminated only after three months.
Byrne explained that AirByDesign uses LiDAR to build a 3D virtual model of the restaurant and consistently scans the establishment for a few weeks to help determine how many filter units and sensors need to be placed inside. Once that data is collected the company comes in to handle all the system integrations. Afterwards, AirByDesign trains the restaurant staff in how everything works.
The filters help detect all types of things such as carbon dioxide levels as well as pollen. When carbon dioxide levels get too high, staff is notified to open windows and doors. The HEPA filters naturally help clean the air of pollen to help people with allergies.
The first restaurant to fully have the system integrated was Mission Bistro. “We knew the parklets would be going away, and people are still nervous. Especially with an elderly community like we have here. Having something like this was basically a no brainer.” said Mission Bistro owner, Shaheen Alnuaimi.
When businesses get clean air certified, AirByDesign grants them a sticker to place on their windows. It states ‘Verified Clean Air; This business has invested in your health and safety.’ The sticker also has a QR code for customers to scan to get access to the AirByDesign app and be able to check the indoor air levels for themselves.
Mission Bistro has only had the system for about three weeks. Alnuaimi said that customers have noticed the sticker on the restaurant’s front door and sometimes ask him what it means.
“Because of Covid situations. My brother and I were saying how important air filtration was going to be. I’m really happy to see restaurants and other businesses are starting to look into it and install it,” said Carmel-by-the-Sea tourist, Ann Stewart.
The way the filter unit works is air flows in through the sides and then gets scanned and cleaned before being pumped out through the top.
“I mean the air here is already fantastic and it’s very clean on the peninsula, but actually the restaurants and the buildings that are going to be clean air verified are actually going to have even cleaner air than outside,” said Alnuaimi.
For establishments in Carmel-by-the Sea interested in getting this system installed in their businesses but might have trouble paying for it; the community foundation Carmel Gives is offering grants to help cover the first 10 to 15 months of subscription costs.