Updated September 2020

Workers in commercial buildings may be at risk for exposure to the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is not yet fully understood, and as such, guidelines and recommendations on risk mitigation are constantly changing. Air distribution through HVAC systems may be a transmission vector of coronavirus.

Cimetrics developed this document to summarize current recommendations in the United States from ASHRAE and CDC related to air distribution systems, quantify the financial and operational impact of those recommendations, and demonstrate how building analytics can be used to facilitate decision-making and operational management. This document will be revised as recommendations are updated and new technology is developed and tested.

While the recommendations in this document relate only to HVAC systems, Cimetrics recognizes that the most effective means of mitigating risk of infection is to limit person-to-person contact, so consideration should be given to methods of minimizing contact such as workflow modifications to minimize occupancy and revised spatial configuration, as well as replacing high-touch surfaces (e.g. touchless door locks & elevators, single-serving items), and adherence to surface cleaning and hygiene protocols.

During these unprecedented circumstances, Cimetrics’ Analytika service continues to monitor our customer sites and support any changes to facility operations.

During building shutdowns, many facilities reduced their on-site staff and eliminated non-essential maintenance, but Cimetrics continued to be their watchdog for critical equipment faults. Cimetrics also continued to monitor building spaces for unusual conditions that would normally be reported by the occupants.

Upon reopening, Cimetrics’ Analytika service confirms that equipment operation is consistent with best practices; monitors space conditions such as temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels; and quantifies the impact of adherence to ASHRAE and CDC guidelines. We will evaluate the capacity of existing  mechanical systems relative to the increased energy demand. Cimetrics will additionally provide energy cost calculations associated with COVID-mitigation measures using real-time operational data.

Transmission mitigation measures come with a hefty price tag. A focus on maintaining efficient systems and identifying energy savings opportunities wherever possible can help offset the cost of these measures.

Contact us to learn how we can help you with COVID-19 response and building reopening.

Useful resources:
ASHRAE 2020. ASHRAE Position Document on Airborne Infectious Diseases

ASHRAE 2020. ASHRAE Position Document on Infectious Aerosols

CDC 2020. Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility

CDC 2020. Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Illuminating Engineering Society 2020. IES Committee Report: Germicidal Ultraviolet (GUV) – Frequently Asked Questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *