ACHR News: Webinar series details how to reduce virus transmission in commercial buildings

Published 11/13/2020
the ACHR News

the ACHR NewsACHR News sat in on the first two of our three-part webinar series, COVID & IAQ: New Best Practices, and wrote up some important ASHRAE recommendations that were shared. Luke Leung, P.E., LEED Fellow, leader of the commercial buildings team for the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force and director of sustainable engineering at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, spoke on 10/8 about The Latest Research on Airborne Transmission and Mitigation Strategies:

“Winter’s coming, and we are thinking about winterizing our buildings,” he said. “If you’ve been using the economizer cycle for 100% outside air during early fall, that’s fine. But when winter comes and you worry about energy consumption, I think the good news here is you can achieve very close performance to 100% outside air by having a very good filter and recirculating the indoor air.”

And on October 22, chair of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Dr. William Bahnfleth, P.E., FASHRAE, FASME, FISIAQ and professor of Architectural Engineering at Penn State, offered these comments:

“We have evidence that better filtration is as effective as ventilation and lower cost,” he said. “A recent study shows that filters are very effective at reducing the relative risk of infection down to about MERV 13 compared to ventilation. After MERV 13, at least in the office building context in the study, it seems that you can pay more for filters, but you don’t get a lot of additional performance out of them. So this is one of the key pieces of research that we think is justification for focusing more on air cleaners than on increased ventilation in almost every situation.”

Read the article here.

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