The Coronavirus and Building Operations
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- March 31, 2020
- by Barry Abramson
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Many people have been asking us what they should do regarding HVAC operations to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in their buildings. ASHRAE and CDC guidance emphasize the same things, for non-healthcare facilities: Encourage social distancing, and focus on hygiene measures.
ASHRAE says, “Education and policies are more effective than any HVAC interventions.”
When it comes to HVAC, the two actions generally applicable to non-healthcare facilities are:
1) Keep bringing in outside air, the more the better.
2) Use the highest efficiency filters that will work in your air handling units, typically MERV-13, and seal the edges to prevent bypass.
Whenever we perform a site visit at a building, whether it be for ENERGY STAR® certification, an energy audit, a LEED® site survey, retro-commissioning, or for any other reason, we check the operation and effectiveness of the ventilation systems and report on any opportunities for improvement. We will continue to do so with due diligence as we resume visiting buildings in the coming months.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.
Here is a helpful ASHRAE Journal article on Building Operation during the COVID-19 Pandemic.