Learn more about how 10C is keeping people safe with ParticleOne
Welcoming Our Community Back
Like everywhere, 10C wasn’t exempt from the disruption and tough lessons delivered by COVID. But in keeping with its longstanding resolution to work collaboratively to create new opportunities, its team resolved to use this experience to enhance its shared spaces moving forward. Before reopening after provincially mandated lockdowns, 10C committed to ensuring it offers even healthier spaces where people can be productive, knowing that their wellbeing is a top priority.
The challenge was understanding exactly what to do. Public health and provincial guidelines provided general guidance, but the distinctiveness of 10C spaces, including its coworking hubs, presented unique challenges.
of the world’s most demanding building performance and environmental challenges. When COVID hit, they channeled their unique expertise in ventilation and air quality to answer the very questions that 10C and many other building owners were asking.
Guelph-based RWDI is a global climate and environmental engineering firm known for solving some Just as Omicron shut down most of the province inDecember 2021, RWDI invited 10C to run a pilot on its building using a new virus risk-management software, ParticleOne. Informed by RWDI’s 50 years of building-science data and integrated with the epidemiology intelligence platform BlueDot, ParticleOne models spaces based on their specific building mechanics, layouts, location, and occupant profiles (including infection and vaccination rates).
After inputting the information for key 10C spaces (including coworking spaces, meeting rooms, the kitchen, and more), ParticleOne ran thousands of simulations and applied a risk rating to each space. The platform then clearly outlined what mitigations were needed in each space to classify it as “Prepared”—meaning it was within a reasonable risk for people to safely return to it.
Easing Decision Fatigue
Now, every week, the platform monitors these spaces for any changes, alerting 10C to emerging variants or changes, and guiding them on what to do to stay safe.
“Responding to the ever-changing impacts of COVID, while balancing lifted provincial restrictions against the expectations of members, has been a challenge,” explains Nathan Lawr, 10C’s Community Operations Lead. “With ParticleOne we gained a better understanding of how occupancy and other variables affect the air quality in our spaces. It provides us with the science-backed solutions we need as we navigate difficult decisions like mask and vaccine mandates.”
More specifically, in March 2022, when Ontario lifted its mask mandate, 10C wanted to know for sure if this made sense in its building. Modelling by ParticleOne confirmed that 10C’s earlier decision to add portable HEPA air-cleaning devices in strategic areas would make it possible for staff and visitors to be mask free in certain settings. Having seen the measurable and positive impact of masking previously, however, the 10C opted to maintain its mask policy for another 30 days and then reassess. This measured approach was validated less than two weeks later when increased community infections, driven by the BA.2 variant, shifted ParticleOne modelling to recommend that masks should be worn in all areas again.
The mask policy decision is a good example of how data empowers organizations like 10C to make science-backed decisions—and communicate them with stakeholders—to meet their objectives with less debate and operational disruption.
Nathan concurs: “Restoring our community and productivity matters more than ever. It is user-friendly tech like ParticleOne that will help us adapt to living with COVID, but without compromising the safety and health of our people.”