The Distillery District

Toronto, Ontario
December 2022


In December 2021, the Distillery District management team contacted Blade Air looking for a solution to improve the indoor air quality in their buildings from the current MERV-13 filters they were running. They were looking for a solution that would be able to find a balance between their desire to continuously reduce their carbon footprint while also creating a healthier workspace for their tenants.

The solution was the implementation of Blade Air's electrostatic polarized filters (ESF). The significantly lower static pressure of the units and minimal amounts of electricity required to power the solution offer significant energy savings. With the technology selected, Blade Air and the Distillery District agreed to a trial where the solution would be implemented across two buildings- the Stone Building and the private school on-site, Voice Integrative School.

The following two trials were facilitated:

1. Energy Savings Trial
2. Indoor Air Quality Trial

restaurant patio at The Distillery District

About The Distillery District

The Gooderham & Worts Distillery District is an internationally acclaimed village of brick-lined streets and dozens of vibrantly restored Victorian Industrial buildings. It's one of Ontario's hottest tourist attractions and home to live theatres, galleries, fashion, design and jewelry boutiques, unique cafes and award-winning restaurants. It's completely closed to traffic and just a few minutes' walk from downtown Toronto.

A collection of 47 19th-century buildings that once comprised the Distillery is now a major dining, shopping, and cultural hub in Toronto aptly called the Distillery District. Strolling through the neighbourhood's brick-paved pedestrian streets, visitors might feel as if they've been transported to Victorian-era Canada—the craftspeople who restored the old structures kept true to the original construction materials as much as possible.

The Distillery Historic District opened in 2003, and today it is widely regarded as Canada's premier arts, culture and entertainment destination.

Solution: Blade Electrostatic Filters

Blade's electrostatic filters utilize active polarization fields to outperform HEPA in their capture efficiency of particulate matter in the viral range. Each filter has close to a 90% lower static pressure than HEPA and over 70% lower than the MERV-13's that had been installed. The filter pads are made of 70% recycled lofted glass fibre, reducing the strain on your HVAC system and improving sustainable building operation.

In addition to outperforming the capture efficiencies of HEPA, like UV, these filters are also able to inactivate viruses. The significantly lower static pressure of the units and minimal amounts of electricity required to power the solution offer significant energy savings. They require zero retrofitting making for a seamless and simple install. These units are also produce no ozone, with CARB and UL certifications. 

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electrostatic air filter fitted into HVAC system

Energy Efficiency Trial

Conducted over 20 days, in two phases. The first phase occurred from July 27, 2022, to August 4, 2022, and the second from August 4, 2022, to August 16, 2022.

Phase One (July 27 - August 4, 2022):
Installing a meter on the existing air handling unit (AHU) and monitoring the systems' energy consumption with the MERV-13 filters installed.

Phase Two (August 4 - August 16, 2022):
Installing the electrostatic filters and a variable fan drive (VFD) in the systems. Once the electrostatic filters were installed, the air handler was rebalanced to the previous air flow speed measured, and the energy consumption was monitored. The purpose of these trials was to demonstrate the capacity of the electrostatic filter to reduce energy consumption without compromising airflow.


The combination of upgrading the filters and installing a Variable Frequency Drive:

1. Maintained system airflow
2. Improved filtration efficiency
3. 75% reduction in supply fan motor consumption

Indoor Air Quality Trial

The indoor air quality trial consisted of three phases, where an independent third-party laboratory visited the site to take measurements of the airborne particulate matter.

Phase One (July 11, 2022):
Measuring the indoor air quality with the systems that were currently installed (MERV-13).

Phase Two (August 22, 2022):
Measuring the indoor air quality approximately 30 days post-installation of the electrostatic filters.

Phase Three (September 26, 2022):
Measuring indoor air quality approximately two months post install of the electrostatic filters to demonstrate the ongoing integrity of the filters. The purpose of this trial was to demonstrate the efficacy of the electrostatic filter in improving indoor air quality in contrast to the post-SaRs-CoV-2 pandemic standard of MERV-13 filtration. 


Live Airborne Mould Spores
According to the results obtained during this study, on average, a standard MERV-13 filter performs equally to an electrostatic filter in their mutual abilities to manage the dispersion of living mould spores in the indoor environment in which the assessment took place.

Live Airborne Bacteria
From this study, we find that the MERV-13 filter in place has a 36% efficiency rate of capturing bacteria against an 85% efficiency rate with the electrostatic filter. According to the results obtained during this study, we find that, on average, the electrostatic filter performs 2.25x better than the standard MERV-13 filter in dispersing live bacteria in the indoor environment where the assessment took place. 

Live Airborne Viruses  
An electrostatic field air filter works differently than a standard paper-ply filter since particle size matters less than in a regular pleated filter. Even contaminants of submicron sizes, such as viruses, can be destroyed in the high-voltage electrostatic field offered by this type of filter.

A MERV-13 grade filter is not designed nor capable of capturing or inhibiting viruses. Airborne viruses will pass directly through a MERV-13 grade filter media since their submicron sizes are way smaller than the interlacing of the paper fibres constituting the filter itself.

In contrast, viruses circulating through the electric field of the electronic filter will more than likely be destroyed during their passage.

Project Benefits

a plant inside of a light bulb

Energy Savings

Save up to 75% in energy consumption by reducing the strain on your HVAC system.

a chart of operational expenses

Reduce Maintenance Costs

See up to 35%-50% savings in labour maintenance fees.

a girl breathing taking a deep breath

Enhanced Indoor Air Quality

Improve filtration performance by 2.25x and reduce airborne transmission.

a young girl playing with slime

Improved Cognitive Function

Enhancing IAQ positively correlates to improved cognitive function and productivity levels.

Learn more about this case study and our IAQ solutions