On a mission to improve indoor air quality in residential real estate, Aura Air partnered with Lexington Partners, LLC and outfitted one of the company’s apartments in Hartford, Connecticut. After conducting a month-long trial that included measurements and user feedback, Aura Air was able to demonstrate the importance of air purification on tenants' well-being and comfort and create a 314% return on investment (ROI) in the first year.
According to the EPA, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. The concentrations of some pollutants are up to 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations.
Air pollutants are substances that interfere with the natural characteristics of the atmosphere and can come from both indoors and outdoors. Among the most common sources of air pollution are combustion devices in households, motor vehicles, industrial facilities, and forest fires. Particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide are pollutants of major public health concern. Indoor and outdoor air pollution can cause respiratory problems and other illnesses, resulting in morbidity and mortality.
Particulate matter is a pollutant of special concern. Many studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between exposure to PM and negative health impacts. Small Diameter particles (PM2.5 or smaller) are generally more dangerous, as they can reach deep into the small airways of the body and deposit on the alveoli.
A change in air ventilation results in an improvement from the 62nd to the 70th percentile in terms of cognitive performance. This change in performance is equivalent to a $6,500 increase in salary per person per year.
Also, Researchers at MIT have discovered that air pollution may be contributing to low levels of happiness amongst urban populations.
Lexington Partners, LLC has been one of New England’s most respected development companies over the last 30 years. The company’s three wholly-owned subsidiaries are headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. They have a well-earned reputation for taking on complex projects with daunting physical, financial, and environmental challenges and seeing them through to a successful conclusion.
The Borden, one of their main properties, is a mixed-use development that consists of 150 apartments and 19,000 s/f of commercial/retail space situated in two adjacent buildings known as 1160 & 1178 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield. It offers residents a true lifestyle-driven, amenity-rich community of studios, one, two, and select three-bedroom modern apartment homes, all with elevator access. The property went into lease-up just as the COVID-19 pandemic went into full swing, a financially unstable time in the market.
Aura Air’s goal in the project was to provide a comprehensive solution for improving and managing the air quality in one of The Borden apartment homes, and increasing awareness of outdoor air quality in the facility. The pilot was executed through an interactive data-based experience, providing recommendations and actionable insights for the tenants and property managers.
Week 1 - The devices were installed and air quality measurements were taken within The Borden apartments to determine how the devices affected them. A comprehensive report was prepared at the end of week 1 before moving forward.
Week 2+3 - Aura Air was operated in the family's living room. The device disinfected and purified the air, significantly reducing the number of harmful particles and collecting data about the room’s indoor air quality.
Week 4 - The final week of the project was spent summarizing the work process, reviewing the data, and gaining relevant feedback from the partners and residents.
Following the successful trial, Lexington LLC’s original assumption was that a 150 Aura Air units deal should have taken 10 months to lease-up, but in actuality, it was only 5.5 months. The company chose to add a $25 amenity charge specifically for Aura Air, which resulted in a $45,000 increase in revenue above proforma in the first year.
Aura Air’s unique air management system also served as a unique selling point in Lexington’s marketing strategy with a banner in the front office and integrating the system as part of the pitch to prospective clients. Its role is regarded as 25% of the increase in lease-up speed, totaling another $80,719.
Aura Air’s overall contribution to Lexington LLC’s revenue was $125,719 creating a 314% return on investment (ROI) in the first year and an additional 113% in the second year.
Through a month-long work plan, Aura Air was able to effectively demonstrate how using an advanced air purification system can dramatically improve indoor air quality for tenants with a simple installation that does not require any structural changes. In addition, the system saves high costs for the company and its residents, improving their overall well-being and satisfaction levels.
Using Aura Air’s air management system ensures tenants’ well-being and serves as an important marketing tool, and generates the opportunity to increase rates and gain a positive ROI at relatively low costs.