ASHRAE has established proactive guidance to address COVID-19 concerning the operation and maintenance of HVAC systems.
“The recent escalation in the spread of coronavirus disease is alarming on a global scale,” said 2019-20 ASHRAE President Darryl K Boyce. “While ASHRAE supports expanded research to completely understand how coronavirus is transmitted, we know that healthy buildings are a part of the solution. ASHRAE’s COVID-19 Preparedness Resources webpage ashrae.org/COVID19 guides building owners, operators and engineers on ways to best protect occupants from exposure to the virus, in particular with airborne particles that might be circulated by HVAC systems.”
The position document advises that new and existing healthcare centers, crowded shelters, and similar facilities should go beyond the minimum requirements, using techniques covered in ASHRAE’s Indoor Air Quality Guide to be even better prepared to control airborne infectious disease. ASHRAE aims at maintaining that because small particles remain airborne for a while, the design and operation of HVAC systems that move air can affect disease transmission in numerous ways.
ASHRAE recommends the following strategies of interest to address disease transmission: dilution ventilation, laminar and other in-room flow regimes, differential room pressurisation, personalised ventilation, source capture ventilation, filtration (central or unitary), and UVGI (upper room, in-room, and in the airstream).