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Clear partners with Atlantium to install water purification tech

IMAGE: An Atlantium water purification system installed by Clear
Atlantium's water disinfection system installed by Clear in Montreal's Vogue Hotel. (Courtesy Clear Inc.)

Clear Inc. has signed an exclusive agreement with Atlantium Technologies Ltd. to install its disinfection systems in commercial and residential buildings to improve water quality and help ward off "sick building syndrome."

Founded in 2020, Toronto-based Clear equips, monitors and maintains building air and water systems. Atlantium claims its systems produce 99.99 per cent pure, pharmaceutical-grade water. The agreement between the companies gives 100 per cent global exclusivity to Clear to install Atlantium systems in the real estate sector.

Clear CEO and founder Gil Blutrich sees his company as an integrator of proven technology.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1991 describes sick building syndrome as occurring in buildings where occupants experience acute health effects or discomforts linked to occupying a building with no specific illness or cause identified.

Clear's marketing material claims around 40 per cent of North American buildings are considered 'sick.'

Clear’s origins

“I truly believe that clean air and clean water is a human right,” Blutrich said. “It should not be a luxury, or something that is special. I want to see our communities healthier, and much better to invest the money in prevention (rather) than in medication.

“I think it's the next evolution. From smart buildings and sustainability into healthy buildings and healthy communities and healthy cities.”

Clear has completed several installations utilizing Atlantium's technology in buildings across Canada and the U.S. These include Toronto, Montreal, Texas and a condo tower in Miami. The company is at the proof-of-concept stage and hopes to install systems into 60 buildings during 2023.

In a company presentation, Clear states the cost of 'sick buildings' to the U.S. economy is over $100 billion per year. It says over 100,000 cases per year of cancer and other major illnesses are linked to drinking and bathing water.

The concept for Clear originated when one of Blutrich's family members fell ill due to biological contamination in building water. Around eight years ago, he began looking into what he called "the water situation" in Canada and discovered pipes in cities like Toronto and Montreal can be up to 100 years old.

Clear first connected with Israel-based Aura Air, which produces smart air monitors and purifiers. Its deal with Aura is similar to the firm's deal with Atlantium — also headquartered in Israel — in that Clear has global exclusive rights to use some, but not all of its technology.

Financial costs, benefits for building operators

Clear offers a turn-key solution handling the installations, 24/7 remote monitoring, maintenance, repairs, marketing and training. Buildings which implement the water and/or air systems can display ‘Clear-certified’ signage in their lobby.

“It's not just a treatment,” Blutrich said. “It's sensory, it's sensing and treatment as a holistic system.”

He said installation and maintenance of the systems costs around $10 per residential unit each month via a subscription, meaning there is no capital cost to the developer or owner.

The same company presentation cites research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology showing building classes that utilize health certifications contract at between 4.4 and 7.7 per cent more per square foot than “non-certified or non-registered peers.”

Blutrich is wholly open to more partnerships, and to scaling-up its offerings, saying Clear is always looking for different technologies which would be complementary to its existing partnerships.

“I’ve built a few companies from scratch (in the past) that later on become public companies and I want to . . . do it right and to plan the expansion in the right way,” he said.

SustainableBiz previously reported on the company's launch in December 2021. At the time, it had installed its system at the Vogue Hotel in Montreal.

Toronto-based Lifetime Developments also signed a strategic development with the firm in March of 2021.

Clear and Atlantium

The venture with Atlantium took about 18 months to finalize.

“Atlantium is one of the world leaders in the sterilization of UV systems,” Blutrich said. “They have a phenomenal machine that needs less energy than any other machine and (creates) very high disinfection rates. This machine works for over 18 years in pharmaceutical companies, in food and beverage companies.” 

Atlantium treats water with UV sterilization, meaning no harmful chemicals enter buildings where it is installed. In Health Canada's guidance on waterborne pathogens, it states UV light is very effective in reducing or minimizing many forms of bacteria.

According to Blutrich, companies such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and bottled water companies including Nestlé have been using Atlantium technology for many years. Atlantium systems have been installed 3,500 times across 63 countries.

Atlantium’s technology holds over 60 patents.

“Atlantium was selected for this important initiative thanks to our proven performance, strong track record and years of experience in water disinfection treatment," said Atlantium CEO Yariv Abramovich in a statement.

"Supplying our sustainable, plug-and-play systems for the building market is an exciting development set to make a significant contribution to public health and safety."

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