ASHRAE has compiled a COVID-19 Preparedness Resources webpage that includes a recently approved position document on Airborne Infectious Diseases. The site (ashrae.org/COVID19) provides resources from ASHRAE to building industry professionals. The position document advises that new and existing healthcare intake and waiting areas, crowded shelters, and similar facilities should go beyond the minimum requirements of these documents.
Techniques covered in ASHRAE’s Indoor Air Quality Guide can better prepare building owners to control airborne infectious disease, an ASHRAE news release states. “Because small particles remain airborne for some period of time, the design and operation of HVAC systems that move air can affect disease transmission in several ways, such as by:
· Supplying clean air to susceptible occupants
· Containing contaminated air and/or exhausting it to the outdoors
· Diluting the air in a space with cleaner air from outdoors and/or by filtering the air
· Cleaning the air within the room
ASHRAE recommends the following strategies to address disease transmission: dilution ventilation, laminar and other in-room flow regimes, differential room pressurization, personalized ventilation, source capture ventilation, filtration (central or unitary), and UVGI (upper room, in-room, and in the airstream). “Owners, operators, and engineers are encouraged to collaborate with infection prevention specialists knowledgeable about transmission of infection in the community and the workplace and about strategies for prevention and risk mitigation,” the release says.