Capri Communities has installed a new system to clean the air of bacteria, mold and allergens. (Submitted photo)
A local senior living community says it is adding an additional layer of protection for residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials with Capri Communities say they plan to invest a minimum $325,000 in Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) for all 25 of their locations, which includes stand-alone independent living to integrated independent living, assisted living, and memory care campuses in the greater Milwaukee and Madison areas. The investment adds a layer of safety in the environment by providing continuous disinfection of air in shared spaces.
Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NBPI) is a technology that releases charged atoms that attach to bacteria, mold, allergens, and viruses and deactivates them. NBPI recreates the process of traditional bipolar ionization — which is outside air coming in to clean the air. However, NPBI is done indoors with no harmful by-products.
According to James Tarantino, Founder and CEO of Capri Communities, they are always focused on the health and safety of their residents. It is the core of the Capri Communities mission.
“Capri has committed to investing and installing this technology to ensure our residents and staff feel safe in our community,” said Tarantino. “At its core, this process continuously cleans the air to significantly reduce germs and pollutants.”
While bipolar ionization has been available for decades, the older style and process also created potentially harmful ozone during the process. The newer needlepoint modules, developed in 2008, do not create harmful levels of ozone.
Alicia Dupies, senior vice president of Capri Communities, said the system attaches to expelled breath droplets and dust particles that can transport viruses, enlarging them so they’re more easily caught in filters. It’s an active process that provides continuous disinfection. Studies show the system can replicate the benefits of outdoor air and naturally occurring ionization.
According to Matt Krahn of Lee Plumbing and Mechanical in Kenosha, Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization is a technology that helps remove airborne pathogens, including viruses, from a building.
“We’re installing the Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) ionization system, which is also used in hospitals, throughout the airline industry, and in a variety of educational settings,” Krahn said. “We also commonly install it in both private and multi-family residences, such as senior living settings.”
Installation of the NPBI system at Casa del Mare in Kenosha is complete. Wayne Wiertzema, senior vice president of development, said installation is underway at St. Rita Square, Wilson Commons in Milwaukee, and at Grace Commons in Menomonee Falls. All other locations will follow throughout the next two months.
“Our contractors have most of the equipment in hand and we have a comprehensive schedule to have the majority of this initiative complete by end of March,” he said.
Krahn added that in many cases, the virulent aerosol created by an individual’s coughing won’t make its way to the HVAC system and instead lingers in the room where pathogens can settle onto counters, desks and other furniture.
“This really makes a case to use something that actively attacks and neutralizes COVID-19 and other pathogens and viruses in the occupied space and doesn’t rely just on the HVAC filtration system,” he said.
Tarantino agreed, adding that the investment in the new technology is a differentiator.
“Knowing that it’s proven to be safe and effective in deactivating 99.9 percent of microbes in a matter of minutes should give residents comfort,” he said.
The Capri Communities residents are excited to be receiving the needlepoint bipolar ionization in their common areas or spaces that share air, said Dupies.
“This means air is continuously cleaned in shared-air areas such as common areas, dining rooms, activity and fitness spaces and hallways,” she said, adding, “Capri’s assisted living and memory care apartments with shared systems also will be part of this initiative. This is giving our residents an added level of feeling safe, (which is) very similar to receiving the vaccine.”
For more information on Capri Communities, visit: www.capricommunities.com
20875 Crossroads Circle, Suite 400, Waukesha,