It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. Monzer Hourani, CEO of Houston-based Medistar and Integrated Viral Protection (IVP), believes the time is now for a real solution to life after the pandemic. Last April, Monzer invented the IVP Biodefense Indoor Air System, the only existing air filter system which can instantaneously catch and kill airborne COVID-19 (99.999%) and all biological viruses in a single pass.
At the onset of the pandemic in the United States, Hourani and a small team of top scientists and engineers began working to develop an indoor air protection system to stop the spread of contagions.
IVP’s core technology is a specialized heated filtration system which meets ASHRAE standards and was granted emergency use authorization by the FDA during the covid-19 pandemic. It is the only existing air filter system which can instantaneously catch and kill airborne COVID-19 (99.999%), and all other biological viruses.
Hourani will be recognized at Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Top 25 Newsmakers of the Year and Award of Excellence Luncheon on April 8 in Houston for his invention. This honor is a reflection of the significance of his impact on improving indoor air quality and helping safely reopening after the pandemic.
Decades of innovation in real estate and healthcare
Hourani was French educated in Lebanon and earned a second baccalaureate in physics and mathematics prior to coming to the University of Texas at Austin in 1965, where he earned degrees in Structural Engineering and Architectural Studies in 1969.
Hourani founded M. Hourani and Associates Consulting Engineers in 1971. This firm provided structural engineering services on 590 commercial buildings in 43 states and four countries outside the U.S. As the Texas Medical Center in Houston grew into the world’s largest medical district, M. Hourani and Associates earned selection to a growing number of complex, medical projects.
Leveraging healthcare project experience and relationships, in 1974 Hourani founded Medistar Corporation as a medically-focused real estate development company. Medistar quickly earned national recognition for developing modern, economical and technologically robust hospitals, integrated medical plazas and medical office buildings.
Throughout his career, Hourani has worked to prevent and recover from environmental disasters, including his work with other engineers and scientists on the devastating British Petroleum Horizon oil spill and on a robust solution for flood control in Houston following Hurricane Harvey. He also has invented several patented and patent-pending technologies, among them an oil skimmer for rapid containment and cleanup and a removable, reusable window-brace system that protects existing buildings from Hurricane Category 5 force winds.
How IVP’s technology can reopen the economy
There are some who worry we will never return to an open society, free to safely gather. Yet, Hourani’s company, Houston-based Integrated Viral Protection, LLC (IVP) is on the map as one of the fastest growing pandemic-related biotech startups creating biodefense solutions, with the ultimate goal of helping us confidently restart our education system and broader economy.
So, what will it take freely gather again and feel safe indoors? According to Hourani, every industry impacted will need to implement clean air technology to catch and kill airborne illnesses.
The IVP solution is the only one proven to kill actual airborne Sars-CoV-2 (99.999%), the virus causing COVID-19, and other pathological variants, such as anthrax spores (99.98%). That tech represents more than clean air – it could hold the secret for how the global economy rebounds.
IVP has had recent deployments to Superbowl LV, the Texas Medical Center, Intercontinental Hotel Houston, over 100 school campuses, hospitals, prisons and office buildings worldwide. Consumers will soon be able to safely return to the lives abruptly stopped a year ago.
These three strategic priorities according to Hourani will help reopen the business world and get us back to life pre-covid:
- Reopening travel.
Safe air and cruise travel are crucial to mitigate the spread of future pandemics. IVP is working to design specialized filtration systems to achieve FAA approval for in-flight use and on cruise ships to protect tourists and help the travel industry successfully resume full operations.
- Making everyday commutes and gatherings safe again.
Hourani’s team is working to advance the biodefense technology for use in face masks, automobiles, mass transit, ambulances, restrooms, elevators, aviation and oceanic travel. They have recently been awarded grants from the US Department of Defense and US Air Force for research and development for the combat setting as well. The sooner we can return to daily communal activities with safe, clean air, the sooner we can reopen the economy.
- Widespread implementation of air filtration
A life without mandatory masks and social distancing is within reach. Municipalities and businesses have options today that they didn’t have a year ago for safe, clean air capable to eliminating COVID-19 airborne pathogens. The quicker these solutions are implemented, the sooner we can get back to a thriving economy and normal life.
As we focus on cleaner air, we can eliminate the need for double-masking and limited gatherings as the only options to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even with future pandemics from airborne illness that may arise, this technology is equipped to catch and kill those pathogens instantaneously, in a single pass as well. More sustainable and reliable options are possible with clean-air technology.
IVP has helped essential businesses across major industries get back to safer operations with cutting-edge technology. As IVP continues to deploy these systems across the U.S. and globally, we are one step closer to a post-pandemic world with cleaner air for generations to come.
Hourani has dedicated his entire life to make the lives of others better. He has been a major supporter of many diverse charitable and cultural organizations, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for Cancer Research, American University of Beirut (AUB), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Houston Food Bank. Out of Hourani’s great love of classical music, he is a major supporter of Texas Tech School of Music, the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, and Virtuosi of Houston, which provides unique opportunities for gifted and talented young classical musicians.
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