ASHRAE Offers COVID-19 Building Readiness/Reopening Guidance
ATLANTA (May 7, 2020) – The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has developed guidance on mitigating potential health risks during reopening of buildings closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have reached a time where planning for a safe return to normal activities has become a priority,” said 2019-20 ASHRAE President Darryl K. Boyce, P.Eng. “Safe operation of HVAC and building water management systems are critical components of building readiness and reopening, and ASHRAE’s resources provide a framework for developing plans in a variety of building types.”
ASHRAE’s recommendations for reopening buildings are outlined in the frequently asked questions section of its COVID-19 Resources webpage. Recommendations for building readiness and reopening include the following:
Create a strategic plan prior to opening a building. The plan should include measures to make occupants feel safer, ensuring supply chain for critical items such as filters and communication plans for building support and safety measures for occupants.
If the building opening takes place when Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements are still in place, ASHRAE’s Occupancy Guides can be referenced to deal with functioning buildings during the epidemic.
Review HVAC programming to provide flushing two hours before and post occupancies. This includes operating the exhaust fans as well as opening the outside air dampers. For buildings without the capacity to treat large quantities of outside air and when outside air conditions are moderate, open all windows for a minimum of two hours before reoccupation.
Run the system on minimum outside air when unoccupied.
Garage exhaust, if any, should run two hours before occupancy.
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