By Ron McMahan, SGS Industries & Environment Director of Advanced Technologies

Almost two years ago, SARS CoV-2 was first identified and soon after that, we began providing all manner of air, water and surface testing to keep companies aware and essential workers safe. As more workers started returning to their places of business, our COVID-19 services were employed to assure that workers reoccupy a healthy building

There are no coincidences here. We have delivered precise, defensible data for over a half century to keep workers healthy and safe. That’s what we do and that’s what we stand for, and we do it using innovation to get to the next, best technology. 

Our attention of late has turned to the reopening of schools and delivering air quality data to assist in managing indoor air quality in classrooms and other areas of school facilities. There are many facets to indoor air quality controls and the data allows the schools to make effective changes to assure air quality for students, faculty and staff are acceptable.


SGS was awarded a contract by a school district to provide air monitoring in their classrooms and select offices. The purpose was providing near real-time data so corrective action could be taken that ensured that ventilation and primary indoor air parameters would meet acceptable standards for students, faculty, and volunteers. The concern was initially related to bringing students back to the classroom and the viral transmission risk that is increased with lack of fresh air ventilation, which is one important way to reduce potential viral loading. 


Our Internet of Things (IoT) SmartSense cloud-based continuous monitoring system is now watching over one of the largest school districts in the U.S., serving 54,000 students in 125 schools. SmartSense is using an estimated 5,000 real-time measurement points, measuring CO, CO2, PM1, PM2.5, PM10, temperature and relative humidity. Administrators are currently able to monitor each room in near real-time via dashboard for each of the contaminants of concern.


Deploying technology-based solutions and lab sampling devices, like in this school district, can address monitoring air, water, building materials and comfort qualities in schools and all buildings. This gives us the unique ability to integrate all the services needed to confront indoor air quality issues as well as other key environmental data with all data available through a single simple web interface.

Keeping our kids healthy in schools is serious business, which is one of the reasons we are a Gold Sponsor of an important, just-released report, the 2021 State of Our Schools Report: America’s PK-12 Public School Facilities. The report is authored by the 21st Century School Fund, the International WELL Building Institute and the National Council on School Facilities. SGS offers environmental consultants and IAQ specialists the air, water and built environment analysis services needed to help their clients get their buildings WELL-certified. When it comes to schools, WELL is also helping schools return to safe, full-time, in-person learning with its WELL Health-Safety Rating that looks at air and water quality management, cleaning and sanitation procedures, and other factors, of which we can be of service.

As the world’s leading testing, inspection, and certification company, we will continue to innovate and collaborate with a goal of providing the data needed to help keep people and our environment safe and healthy. 

Contact SGS with your SmartSense questions and for a demonstration anytime at:


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