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NEMI-NAFA Partnership Is Boon For Jobs

September 03, 2004

In a world rife with terrorist threats, building owners are upgrading the efficiency of their air filtration systems for better protection against an “unforeseen event”.

This helps underscore the importance of the National Energy Managment Institute’s (NEMI) new partnership with the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA). “Air filtration is very much a growing field,” said NAFA President Phil Maybee, “but particularly now because of homeland security.”

NEMI Executive Director Erik Emblem said his team “will be working with NAFA to complete a certification and training program in conjunction with the International Training Institute (ITI). “We not only will be helping to make buildings more secure, but the partnership will add to the HVAC technicians box of skills.”

NAFA will train journeymen and apprentices in the different efficiency levels of filtration, said Maybee, both for new installations and for retrofits.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity for HVAC and sheet metal folks to go in and upgrade an older facility,” said Maybee. “Most of the time you have to completely change the filter configuration because it’s an old system.”

NAFA trainers will explain the formulas for pressure that filters add to a system, said Maybee, and how to work within those parameters to make sure a retrofilter bank doesn’t put undue pressure on the system, yet achieve the highest level of efficiency.

“That’s our main goal,” said Maybee. “In the best of times, the filtration system determines the health of the individuals in the building because of all the things in the air. And in the worst—if it were a building at risk that had an ‘unusual event’—those filters can literally mean the survivability of people in the building.”

NAFA trainers and NEMI’s task force for this project will get together at NAFA’s annual conference Sept. 26-29 in Las Vegas. “After those discussions, we’ll be setting up several labs across the country for hands-on training to journeymen and apprentices,” said Emblem.

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