Colony Square Installing UVC Lighting In Offices To ‘Purify and Destroy Airborne Bio-Contaminants’

$280,000 investment is part of the Midtown mixed-use development's Better Together program, and is in anticipation of Whole Foods, other office workers returning as early as June 1.

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North American Properties (NAP) today launched its COVID-19 response program Better Together at Colony Square, the Midtown mixed-use community currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar redevelopment.

NAP introduced its novel Better Together program last week at sister property Avalon.

“At Colony Square, Better Together is especially focused on creating a safe workplace for the community because of the property’s significant office density, with unique initiatives that include a new Elevator Concierge program and major investment in UVC lighting,” a spokesperson in an email Monday told What Now Atlanta.

Colony Square is investing approximately $280,000 to install UVC lighting technology to “purify and destroy airborne bio-contaminants as part of the existing filtration systems within the two office towers.”

Here’s more on the UVC lights, as per a pre-written statement:

“Using these UVC lights, Colony Square will apply the Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) cleaning method, a disinfection technique to kill or deactivate microorganisms, in two sections of the HVAC system before and after the blower housing assembly of the air handling unit. This will help eliminate viruses, bacteria, mold and dust mites. These lights are often found in hospital systems and labs, but rarely in office environments. In addition, Colony Square’s air ventilation is a constant volume system that provides five air exchanges per hour, meaning fresh air is constantly circulating. At the beginning of every day, Colony Square’s towers are fully purged with outside air.”

As the pandemic rages on, UVC lighting is becoming more and more popular, especially in office environments like Colony Square — but is it necessary? The folks over at Blue National HVAC write this type of technology is a “scam,” concluding that the same thing can be accomplished with good HVAC maintenance.

Another key component of Better Together is the launch of Colony Square’s Elevator Concierge program as the center anticipates its office tenants will start returning as early as June 1, according to data collected in a questionnaire.

The Elevator Concierge program calls for one Concierge team member to be stationed in each elevator lobby, welcoming office tenants back to work, answering any questions, and helping them navigate the “new normal.”

“We are taking proactive steps to make our buildings and common areas healthier for the community,” Tim Perry, managing partner at NAP, said in the release.

“Clean air is one of many priorities for our team, along with increased sanitization protocols, enforcement of social distancing and reprogramming our event plans and common spaces. When our office workers and guests return to Colony Square, they will find an environment that is still vibrant and still very much Midtown, while also being responsive to our new normal.”

In addition to the UVC lights and Elevator Concierge, the Better Together program encompasses the following measures at Colony Square:

  • The Code of Conduct has been updated to include guidelines for social distancing and hygiene.
  • Security will patrol the property 24/7 to enforce the Code of Conduct. This includes breaking up groups of more than 10 people.
  • Elevators will feature signage that encourage distancing between riders. Elevator lobbies will have dedicated housekeeping staff, along with a Concierge member, wiping down high-touch surfaces such as buttons and door handles.
  • Hand sanitizer stations and safety messaging signage have been installed throughout the property. This includes new mounted hand sanitizer pumps on each office floor.
  • Furniture has been limited in all common areas. For instance, the tables in The Grove (pocket park on 14th Street) now only have one chair each to discourage large groups.
  • Cleaning protocols and housekeeping staff have increased. In addition to the elevator lobbies, the housekeeping team will dedicate staff to specific areas, such as restrooms and high-traffic common areas throughout the property. 
  • Signage has been added to every Colony Square office tenant’s desk that alerts housekeeping whether it has been occupied that day and needs thorough cleaning or if the user is working from home and doesn’t need extra sanitary measures.
  • Traffic is now one-way when entering and exiting Buildings 100 and 400.

Better Together was created by a 14-person task force of people who work on all sides of the company and guided by the action and direction of the CDC and local and national authorities.

“For over 50 years, Colony Square has been the heartbeat of Midtown Atlanta,” Mark Toro, chairman of the board of NAP – Atlanta, said in the release.

“Just as it did in the 1970s, the development is once again emerging as a safe haven for those seeking community and human connection. The program has already received tremendous support at Avalon, and we will use our learnings to customize our approach to best serve the Midtown community at Colony Square.”

Located at the corner of 14th and Peachtree Streets, Colony Square encompasses two legacy office towers with retail at the base and two new office buildings that are under construction. Tenants of the new Building 300 will be moving into a fully equipped and safe environment, with Whole Foods beginning to move in June 1.

By 2021, Colony Square will have nearly one million square feet of office space and approximately 4,800 office, retail and restaurant workers.

The retail and dining experience will feature dine-in movie theatre IPIC, Holeman and Finch Public House, Rumi’s Kitchen, American Barber Shop, Brown Bag Seafood Co., and a 25,000-square-foot food hall.

These concepts come in addition to Sukoshi, Freshii, 5Church Atlanta, Establishment, Blank Label, Moe’s Southwestern Grill, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-A.

Establishment and Chick-fil-A have remained open for to-go meals throughout the pandemic.

This week, 5Church Atlanta reopened for curbside pickup and delivery, with temporary hours Tuesdays through Saturdays and a limited menu, including 50 percent off beer and wine.

Freshii has also reopened for grab-and-go and delivery Mondays through Fridays.

Moe’s Southwest Grill, Starbucks, Sukoshi, Colony Square Eyecare, Truist Bank and Primrose School of Midtown are closed until further notice.

To keep up with daily tenant updates, visit

The redevelopment of Colony Square remains underway, with several openings slated for later this year. Hoar Construction, the project’s general contractor, recently removed a 220-ton crane from Building 500, which will be fully occupied by international law firm Jones Day next year. 

[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak is the Founder of What Now Media Group, Inc. Check out our publications in your city: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa.

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  1. The phrase “purify and destroy airborne bio-contaminants…” is listed in quotation marks. Who made this statement? It is quite difficult to kill microorganisms in a single pass in a fast-moving airstream. The UVGI power and spacing requirements are extreme to make this possible. You should take care not to set unreasonable expectations when describing these systems.

  2. The inverse-square law is any scientific law stating that a specified physical quantity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity. Since exposer time is a relevant factor in this type of application, light that would be placed close to the coils and drain pans might be more beneficial because of both distance and expose times.

  3. Jeffery Gauthier is correct about ‘close proximity’ and ‘retention time’. For example, UVC dosage intensity at 40″ is about 1000x less than 1″ from the lamp. Another important aspect is ‘direct line-of-sight’ from lamp to contaminants. In addition, a critical component that usually takes a backseat to germicidal discussions is the control of toxic air-borne chemicals (eg: Formaldehyde). Unfortunately, too much emphasis is normally placed on HEPA filters which are designed for particulate matter filtration, not germs or chemicals.

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