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ASHRAE updates Building Readiness Guide

The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has updated its guidance on building readiness to help mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

The Building Readiness Guide focuses on the operation of HVAC systems to help reduce the potential health risks when buildings reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Building Readiness Guide includes additional information and clarifications so that owners can avoid operating their HVAC systems 24/7,” says Wade Conlan, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Building Readiness Team lead.

“By rolling out this updated guidance, we are hoping to provide a more robust structure for building owners to complete the objectives of their Building Readiness Plan and anticipate the needs of building occupants.”

Updated recommendations include the following:

Pre- and post-flushing strategy

This is to ensure the ventilation-assisted removal of bioburden during, pre- and post- occupancy of the building. Flushing is carried out for a period to sufficiently reduce concentration of airborne infectious particles by 95 per cent.

As detailed in the calculation methodology, this would require three air changes of building volume based on outside air cfm – or three equivalent air changes including the effect of filtration and air cleaners – for a well-mixed space.

The guidance also includes methods to potentially increase the quantity of outdoor air introduced by systems.

Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) systems operation

This strategy helps to determine if your energy wheel is well designed and/or well maintained and whether it should remain in operation.

The guidance contains helpful links and information to the ERV Guide which will help owners determine if their energy wheel should remain in operation.

Building readiness modes of operation

These should include:

Epidemic Operating Conditions in Place (ECiP)

  • Occupied at pre-epidemic capacity
  • Occupied at reduced capacity or unoccupied temporarily
  • Operation during building closure for indefinite periods

Post-Epidemic Conditions in Place (P-ECiP)

  • Prior to occupying
  • Operational considerations once occupied

The guidance still addresses 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 systems ability to mitigate virus transmission.

Click here to view the complete ASHRAE Building Readiness Guide and other COVID-19 resources.

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