The Impact of HVAC on Coronavirus Transmission and Prevention

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Introduction

Since the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic dawned on the public back in March 2020 the HVAC industry has quickly come together to publish guidance and advice on how to handle the epidemic from the HVAC systems perspective. Multiple industry associations such as CIBSE, BESA, REHVA and ASHRAE amongst many others have published guidance documents concerning the appropriate steps to prevent the virus spread within buildings and in particular on the role that ventilation can play in achieving a safe living and working environment. Their advice follows on the guidelines published by several public health institutions such as the WHO (World Health Organization), ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) and the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) which provided solid general guidance but lacked the technical detail required for building owners and facilities managers to take action on their systems.

The guidance provided is extensive and in-depth however it can also easily become confusing. Eurovent states in a recent COVID-19 blog post:

“Almost all guidance documents refer to the ASHRAE and REHVA guidance documents and are irregularly updated and complemented as new research results become available. The evolving understanding of the novel coronavirus warrants caution in issuing authoritative guidelines. This is especially true considering that many of the findings and recommendations that are emerging are conflicting. The proliferation of guidance documents is leading to persistent uncertainty among building owners, facility managers and end users on how to operate and maintain their HVAC systems.

It is crucial to isolate the signal from the noise in this area and emphasise what is known about the role of ventilation in containing the spread of viruses. (…)”

Source: https://eurovent.eu/?q=articles/covid-19-gen-112900 , 23/09/2020 15:06

Therefore, as a manufacturer of air handling equipment, Barkell wanted to help provide a summary of the recommendations we consider most relevant and how we can help you in achieving a safe working environment with our ventilation products, controls systems and services.

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