A thorough re-evaluation of air conditioning and ventilation systems will be needed prior to the reoccupation of buildings, says the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).
Recirculation of air within buildings should be avoided to reduce the risk of transmission
The Institution, whose membership includes the UK’s leading experts on ventilation and air quality in buildings, has produced a series of guides for businesses looking to understand how their workspaces can be re-populated while minimising risk to their staff.
As airborne transmission of the COVID-19 virus is of major concern, CIBSE’s advice is to increase ventilation as much as possible, increasing the flow of outside air and preventing any pockets of stagnant air. Recirculation of air within buildings should be avoided to reduce the risk of transmission. It warns that it is likely this will lead to an increase in energy bills.
Calculating the appropriate volume of outside air, and reconfiguring existing air handling systems to provide it, needs expertise – says CIBSE. As such, its engineers are finding that their skills are suddenly very much in demand.
The organisation warns that there are checks that need to be carried out. Water systems will need flushing and lifts and escalators that have been idle for several weeks may need inspection and safety testing before use. Emergency systems need to be checked and new regimes established for working and recreational spaces. CIBSE’s guidance covers these considerations as well.
Understanding of this new virus grows all the time and CIBSE’s advice is available in downloadable format only, ensuring it can be revised immediately if and when new discoveries are made.
Click here to read the latest CIBSE guidance.
For more information on the reoccupation of buildings, click here.
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