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RESET® Air Standard & Projects FAQ

Welcome to the FAQ section for RESET Air.

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1. General Questions

RESET is the world's first real-time monitoring sensor based and performance-driven building standard and certification program. RESET is a modular standard, RESET Air is the first module of RESET. RESET Air is a standard and certification for real-time monitoring and evaluation of indoor and building air, including RESET Air for Commercial Interiors (CI) standards for indoor projects and RESET Air for Core & Shell (CS) standards for buildings . RESET Air for CI is used to monitor and evaluate the air quality of individual tenant spaces and public spaces. RESET Air for CS is used to continuously monitor and evaluate the air quality delivered by the mechanical HVAC system within the project according to the RESET standard.
The RESET Air for Commercial Interiors and RESET Air for Core & Shell standards continuously monitor and evaluate the following three indoor pollutants: fine particulate matter (PM2.5), total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), and carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, we will also monitor the indoor temperature and humidity to better help the project to determine the cause of indoor pollutants. In addition to these three pollutants which have great impact on the health, chemicals that cause indoor pollution also include benzene, ozone, etc. RESET Air certification relies on the performance of the sensor to have good quality of data. Once mature sensors for these pollutions are available on the market (maturity includes technology and price), RESET will include these pollution into the monitoring.
RESET currently uses a conversion factor of 2.2727 (recurring), based on isobutylene, between ppb and mg/m3. Therefore, the performance targets look like this:
  • Regular Performance Target: 0.5 mg/m3 --> 220 ppb
  • High Performance Target: 0.4 mg/m3 --> 176 ppb
We have decided to use isobutylene as the conversion factor after much deliberation (we tried building out a couple gas mix conversion factors as well) for two reasons. One is because there is no consistent TVOC gas mix around the world that can be consistently used, so it is better to keep it simple at this point in time with a number that is pretty much an average between the gas mixes we have looked at. And second, because TVOC sensors that are being used in these units were never designed to give absolutely accurate numbers, but were more designed to give a general trend.

It was brought to our attention that the European standard uses 1 ppb = 4.5 ug/m3, based on typical domestic levels of tVOCs. We believe that the research is probably accurate, but from what we have seen with TVOC sensors, every brand of TVOC react to different VOCs a little differently, therefore we cannot treat TVOC readings as absolutes. The use case for TVOC sensors is to use them as a trend over time.

From our experience so far, we often see ppb readings float between 50 and 250, so having a ppb threshold of 111 (using 1 ppb = 4.5 ugm3) is going to fail a majority of projects. It is important to note that part of the readings of TVOCs is often non-harmful TVOCs in the air in general (perfume and any form of alcohol are included).

Additionally, I believe the 500 ug/m3 limit was originally from North America, so it is likely that that number does not use a gas mix common in Europe either.

Of course, this should not stop projects from trying to achieve an even lower ppb requirement, but the goal of the standard is to set a baseline target threshold.

Note that if lab tests show that VOCs in the space are of the non-harmful kind and the TVOC readings on the monitor are often higher than the threshold, it is possible to adjust the threshold to accommodate the space, as long as there is a lab test to prove it.
A project that RESET Air Certified means this building (CS) or a space (CI) is able to continuously deliver healthy air that meets the RESET requirements for the tenants and occupants.

Different from traditional one-time detection, continuous monitoring can guarantee the air quality delivers to the building or a space in a real time and for a long term. With the support of continuous monitoring, building or the space operator can find and solve the problems in time.
RESET Air using continuous monitoring, which is a different testing methods from the lab testing, and can not be compared directly.

Take PM2.5 as an example. The advantage of continuous monitoring is you can understand the trends of PM2.5 in a space through long term. While lab testing only take a certain period in a space, and there is no way to show the trends of PM2.5 for a long term. However, people is able to understand what contains in the PM2.5 through the lab testing.

The same condition as for TVOC. We can learn the TVOC trends in a space for a long term through continuous monitoring, while learn what VOCs in the air through lab testing. Additionally, there are several technologies for TVOC sensors that used for continuous monitoring. Different technologies have different data because of their different sensitivity to each VOC.

No matter continuous monitoring or lab testing should be valued, they complement each other. Due to the complexity of an indoor space, continuous monitoring will make it easier for users to find out the problems and solve it.
LEED and WELL are a comprehensive design standard for green buildings and healthy buildings, while RESET is a modular standard that focuses on the operational performance of a building and indoor space.

Air is an important part of LEED, WELL, LBC, Fitwel, BREEAM, and other green building certifications.

RESET Air has specific harmonizations and/or crosswalks with WELL, LBC, Fitwel, and is also recognized by GRESB.

Each program has their own way of accepting RESET Air into their specific schemes. With respect to LEED, RESET Air can help with part of the LEED IAQ innovation credit if the project team plans accordingly. For WELL, RESET Air is recognized as a compliance pathway towards some Features and Parts of the WELL Standard. In the case of Fitwel and LBC, RESET Air is seen as equivalent to individual program requirements.
Most certifications require a one-time spot test for air quality while RESET requires long-term continuous monitoring to understand how the space performs over time. RESET can be considered a standard and certification program that targets the operations phase of a building or space instead of a focus on the design phase.
You will need to provide WELL with the certificate and the monthly reports to demonstrate that you are still a RESET Certified project. Note that an expired RESET Project will not be able to used for the crosswalk.

For WELL re-certification, "projects must maintain active RESET Air Certification beginning not more than 12 months after the most recent WELL Certification". Active RESET Air Certification is evidenced by proof of award for RESET Air Certification and maintained by having no more than 2 consecutive failed Indicator Cycles.

For more information, check out the Crosswalks section in: https://www.reset.build/programs/projects/air .
It really depends on the state of the building and the HVAC system. In some cases, monitoring can be enough. In others, HVAC retrofits are needed. It also depends on geography. But roughly:
  • 10%: no need for an upgrade.
  • 40%: minor upgrade, including a filter upgrade, balancing of building, and adjustment to air delivery rates.
  • 50%: more substantial upgrade, including filter, fans, balancing of building, and adjustment to air delivery rates.
Note that it is in the last tier, the more substantial upgrade, that the largest energy savings are also found. Often at least 30%.
RESET Air has an alternative path for Residential, based on Commercial Interiors. You can find more information by clicking here .
The relationship is that a Project can do any of the Standards and for each Standard, there will be Statuses to help delineate and set checkpoints for where they are at. For example:
  • RESET PROJECT: GIGA Office Shanghai
  • Materials —> N/A
  • Air —> Status: Certified
  • Water —> Status: Accredited
  • Energy —> Status: Connected
  • Circularity —> Status: Pre-Accredited
Basically, each Standard can be at a different Status for the RESET Project.

2. Accreditation Process

All the registration and documentation submission work should be done through the RESET Cloud. For more information regarding the process, please refer to RESET Projects Process for Air .
For both RESET Air CS and CI projects, projects have two opportunities to submit for the Documentation Audit. The Documentation Audit includes a pre-deployment documentation review and on-site documentation review. But there is only one opportunity for the Site Audit. Once the specified number of times is exceeded, the project team will need to pay for the Documentation Audit or Site Audit fee again.
We currently require RESET Air CI projects to monitor CO in areas that might have combustion (i.e. kitchens). CO monitors are not required to be connected to the cloud, so any battery-powered CO monitor with an alarm will suffice. The quality of CO sensors are also very good already, so there is no need to have a separate monitor accreditation program for CO.
One of the focus of RESET Air is to set up continuous monitoring, therefore, if a project, regardless if it is new build or an existing build, as long as monitors can be installed, it can become RESET Air Accredited.

If a project needs to include retrofit to hit the air quality targets, since RESET Air does not specify solutions, as long as the solution implemented can successfully lower the readings as recorded by the monitors, then the solution will have been successful. This means that projects should take into consideration the limitations to the space and choose the best solution for the project.
The Site Audit can be carried out virtually via a video call.
There are two typical roadblocks. One is that implementing RESET requires a team that understands how to install the hardware and connect everything, more work than what typical AP programs require. Thankfully, there are already teams around the world that can do this. The other is that our standard focuses on the monitoring and data portion. Our standard does not include details on the solutions to hit the targets. Therefore, for a RESET Project to get Certified status, you will need to take the monitoring data to figure out how to improve the space to achieve certification.
Technically speaking, if the data provider can push the legacy data over to us, then the RESET Cloud can receive it. This will not be able to bypass the 3 month certification period as the Documentation and Site Audit would need to be completed before the data can be considered verified data. By bypassing the process, RESET can not sign off on teh data being legitimate according to the RESET Air Standard.

One thing that can be easily done is to be RESET Air Accredited right after completing the Site Audit, which you also get a certificate for. RESET Air Accredited means that the project is monitoring according RESET Standard, and if everything goes well, the project gets upgraded to RESET Air Certified for hitting all the target thresholds.

3. RESET Air - Core & Shell (CS)

Project area here refers to the “Project Boundary” of the area to be certified. According to the RESET Air Standard for Core & Shell, the project boundary should include the entire building and associated HVAC system(s). Project teams must submit a detailed statement that defines and clarifies what is deemed a project boundary for their specific project.

It is also possible to define a project boundary for part of the building, but the zone should include the central HVAC system and all areas that it facilitates.
Project boundaries for CS projects are defined by zones that a central HVAC systems are part of. If a mechanical floor is part of the zone, then it is counted as part of the project boundary by default, so it should be included. If it is not part of the defined zone, then it is possible to exclude it and should be written into the narrative when defining the project boundary.
When calculating the project's total air volume, only account for the air volume that is designed to be delivered to occupied spaces within the project boundary. In the case of a PAU with multiple AHUs, only include the AHUs unless the PAU is delivering air directly.
By default, two buildings can share the outdoor monitor only if the outdoor monitor used in one building is within 5 meters from the air inlet of another buildings.

It is also possible to request for one outdoor monitor to be used for two buildings and will be decided upon on a case-by-case basis.
If it is physically impossible to install a monitor right outside the air intake, a project would need to submit a proposal with the rational for why their suggestion is the next best location. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
For central HVAC systems, it comes down to two things: fresh air systems and filtration. Aside from that, the other consideration is materials that are used indoors. Since TVOC is largely affected by materials, it that would need to be taken into consideration earlier.
For older assets in consideration of RESET Air for Core & Shell, the recommended approach is to start with installing monitors first to diagnose potential issues. After the data is collected and analyzed, then look for the solution that best fits the situation and targets.

Because solutions are typically installed in mechanical rooms, including filters + UV, CO2 scrubbers, etc., there should be no disruption to tenants.
Tenant spaces in a building with RESET Air Certification for Core & Shell (CS) can also become RESET Air Certified for Commercial Interiors (CI), but needs to apply for RESET Air Certification for CI separately, and can be only certified upon meeting the requirements for RESET Air for CI.

RESET Air CS and CI are not directly comparable because they have different targets. RESET Air CS is measuring and evaluating the HVAC performance of a building, which is typically the landlord's responsibility, while RESET Air CI is for the air quality conditions within a space that occupants use, typically the tenant's responsibility.
Although it is technically allowed, RESET would insist that the monitors be placed to represent the air being delivered.

It is important to note that what RESET Air states Core & Shell is monitoring the air being delivered to occupants and the air in the exhaust airstream will usually be worse than air being delivered. Measuring the return air means that you might be monitoring air that is at the mercy of the tenant's air quality without an obvious mechanism to solve the issue. Monitoring air after mixing means that the building owner has the ability the control the amount of dilution from fresh air.

4. RESET Air - Commercial Interiors (CI)

Project area refers to the “Project Boundary” of the area to be certified. According to the RESET Air CI Standard, the boundary should include the entire space the tenant/owner/lease holder is responsible for under a rental/leasing contract, legal sales agreement, or other similar property arrangement. Project teams must submit a detailed statement that defines and clarifies what is deemed a project boundary for their specific project.

It is now also possible to draw a smaller project boundary of only part of the space, but it will be acknowledged in the name of the project that this project does not encompass the entire space.
Outdoor spaces in a RESET Air CI project are not included in the boundary even if they are part of the lease, as outdoor air cannot be controlled by HVAC systems.
RESET would recommend using two monitors because a hallway typically does not allow for the same kind of air flow as an open space, so it is possible for one of the open office spaces to have different air quality as the other one. If a project is adamant about putting only one monitor, then the RESET AP would need to argue that the mechanical systems do a very good job of mixing the air between the two spaces.
The requirements would apply to the entire project boundary, not per floor.
For tenants in an older building with a 'do nothing' type of building owner, tenants should start with monitoring to understand the air quality in their space. Once the problems are determined through the data collected, the best solutions will become more evident.

Typically, the most effective solutions involve ceiling mounted re-circulating units that can be installed in 1-2 days. These are then automated via the data collected by the air quality monitors. Additionally, plants are a great complement, but can not do all the work themselves.
For a space with indoor and outdoor parts, the RESET Air Certification will only apply to the indoor space. There will potentially be issues with an indoor space that constantly has opened windows and doors if the outdoor air quality is bad, so that is something that needs to be taken into consideration when exploring solutions to hit all of the RESET Air targets.
Technically, this would be a problem that needs to be solved between the tenant and landlord.

It is possible for a project team to submit a statement and related supporting documents to the RESET Cloud to request it, but it will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with no guarantees.

5. Cost Considerations

RESET Projects typically have cost considerations for the following:
  • Air Quality Monitoring (hardware and installation)
  • Data Provider (software platform)
  • RESET AP (Accredited Professional) services (consulting)
  • RESET Air Certification (auditing)
  • Solutions (if required)
For RESET Projects, the monitor and data provider must be RESET Accredited. For monitor options, you can fine them here: https://www.reset.build/directory/monitors . For data provider options, you can find them here: https://www.reset.build/directory/dataproviders.

For AP services, you can find all RESET APs in our directory here: https://www.reset.build/directory/ap .

For RESET Air Project certification information, you can find more information here: https://www.reset.build/programs/projects/air .
The cost of a RESET Air Project is calculated based on the area of the project boundary to be certified. Please note that the project boundary rules for RESET Air CS and CI are different.

For the RESET Air Certification (CS and CI) pricing, you can use the RESET Pricing Calculator on the RESET website: https://www.reset.build/programs/projects/air/price.
RESET does offer discounts in a few scenarios. You can find details for the discounts in the Discounts section of the pricing page: https://www.reset.build/programs/projects/air/price.
There is a lot of variability to the costs, with large ranges for both the monitoring hardware and the software. It is best to reach out to a couple monitoring solutions that can provide service to your region. For monitor options, you can fine them here: https://www.reset.build/directory/monitors . For data provider options, you can find them here: https://www.reset.build/directory/dataproviders.

Regardless, the recommended first step is to start with monitoring air quality to better understand the situation. Once there is data, it can be leveraged to explore potential solutions if necessary. Because the solutions are dependent on the state of the air quality in a space, without knowing the HVAC situation and the design of the space, it is very hard to make any estimates on the total cost without a gap analysis.

6. Miscellaneous

The productivity study by Harvard is the COGFx study and can be found here: https://thecogfxstudy.com/.
All monitors used in the RESET project must become a RESET Air Accredited Monitor by going through the testing and accreditation process. Please refer to https://reset.build/programs/monitors/process-air for more information on the RESET Accredited Monitor requirements and process.
If it is for a RESET Project, then the air quality monitors must be a RESET Accredited Monitor. The reason for this is that for the Project Status of Accredited or Certified, we expect to have high quality data and RESET Accredited Monitors are the ones we have tested.

As for non-RESET Projects, picking out air quality monitors without leveraging the RESET Air Standard is easy if the only consideration is to get a reading on the wall. Otherwise, it can be a bit of a challenge. Building owners need to become minor experts and potentially create their own specification. Then, they need to trust that the specification provided by the monitor manufacturer are accurate or they need to run their own tests. On top of monitor selection, another very important aspect will be knowing where to install them.
There are a lot of technologies that can be leverage and all fundamentally follow the same pattern of “measure, verify, monitor, react”. Collect the data, analyze the data, and then act on the data. Not only can data be used for making decisions on environmental and health impact, it can be used to create and prove that you have created a better space. Decision-making is dynamic and will need to incorporate data all the time. Here are some examples of technologies that follow this philosophy:
  • Access Control and Visitor Management - track the number of people in the building and on each floor. Can be used to optimize energy usage and very powerful for security as well with the convenience of seamlessly checking in for tenants while keep track of all visitors.
  • HVAC Systems - leveraging air quality monitoring via SaaS + IoT to optimize HVAC systems with consideration for air quality, thermal comfort, and energy usage.
  • Tenant Engagement - processes and technologies to improve tenant + landlord engagement that tie into ESG metrics and convey personal and building impact on health and sustainability.
Robots are still seen as a gimmick more than anything. Unlike sanitation robots that pick up garbage, air is highly volatile and is easily spread. If a space was impossible to filter, then maybe a robot following me and creating a bubble around me could work. Otherwise, a ceiling system 'bolt-on' unit would be more convenient and less expensive, especially since it can create a flow over a large area. As a user, I would want clean air all the time, not just when the robot comes by. Robots add another point of potential failure.

We have seen robots used for monitoring more than filtering. The IAQ monitors are mounted on security robots or cleaning bots. A nice add-on, but since IAQ monitors are ideally also used to automate local systems and have come down substantially in price, it makes more sense to mount them on walls and service the installed IAQ filtration systems.