ASHRAE Updates Building Readiness Guidance
Commercial buildings, universities, and schools are all in the midst of re-opening to the public in the midst of COVID-19. The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has released updated "Building Readiness" guidance in hopes of helping building owners do the necessary work to HVAC systems to help ease transmission of the pandemic sweeping the globe.
An ASHRAE press release quoted Wade Conlan, the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Building Readiness Team lead: "The Building Readiness Guide includes additional information and clarifications so that owners can avoid operating their HVAC systems 24/7."
The press release also included information about specific updated recommendations to the building readiness guidance:
- Pre- and Post-Occupancy with Outdoor Air: Clearing building air at the end of each occupancy period is a recommended strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Buildings should be flushed for a time sufficient to reduce the concentration of airborne infectious particles by 95%. The would require three air changes (three times the building volume) of outdoor for a well-mixed space. This can include three equivalent air changes including the effect of filtration and air cleaners as detailed in the calculation methodology. The task force also includes guidance on methods to increase the quantity of outdoor air introduced by systems.
- Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) Systems Operation: The task force recommends determining if an ERV system is well-designed and maintained and whether or not it should remain in operation. It could be possible to fix the problems and return it to service, based on assessment of ERV conditions.
- Building Readiness Modes of Operation: Guidance includes both Epidemic Operating Conditions in Place (ECiP) and Post-Epidemic Conditions in Place (P-ECiP).
The guidance does still include recommendations included in the previous release, such as the tactical commissioning and systems analysis to develop a Building Readiness Plan, increased filtration, air cleaning strategies, domestic and plumbing water systems, and overall improvements to a system's ability to mitigate virus transmission.
To view the complete ASHRAE Building Readiness guide and other COVID-19 resources, visit ashrae.org/COVID-19.