COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines for Healthy Building Operation

HEALTHY WORKPLACES

As COVID-19 continues to threaten public health and businesses and institutions face re-opening or operating in this high risk environment, healthy building operation is key to reducing virus transmission. Download our free guide for more detailed recommendations.

ASHRAE maintains safe building operation guidelines for modifying HVAC operations to mitigate virus transmission.

Management and facility staff should be aware of these (in addition to proper cleaning practices), adapt them to their buildings and develop plans for managing their impact on building operations.

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Need help opening or operating your facilities safely during COVID-19?

RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19 MITIGATION IN BUILDINGS

Before implementing any recommendation, we advise you seek assistance from a qualified building professional or engineers such as ourselves to ensure occupant safety.

When facing limited funds to mitigate COVID-19 in your buildings, we recommend prioritizing efforts in the following order.

1. MINIMIZE EXPOSURE

Implement procedures to minimize contact and droplet exposure. This can include mask-wearing, social distancing, working from home, staggered work shifts with limited staff, and more.

2. EVALUATE & RE-COMMISSION HVAC

Evaluate and re-commission your HVAC systems as-needed to ensure building is operating properly per original design intent or current facility requirements.

For additional information on healthy ventilation rates read more in ASHRAE’s Standard 62.1.

3. SELECTIVELY IMPLEMENT

Based on funds and risk mitigation effectiveness, selectively implement ASHRAE’s recommended changes to building operations.

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BUILDING OPERATIONS IMPACT OF MITIGATING COVID-19

ENERGY

Energy use and peak demand may increase with recommended operational changes if greater outside air is used in your building.

COMFORT

Most ventilation systems are not designed to provide 100% outside air. If outside air rates are increased, on hot and cold days, building occupants may feel uncomfortable if your system does not have the capacity to heat or cool that much air.

COSTS

Additional energy use and maintenance will increase operational costs.

EQUIPMENT

Equipment may require increased maintenance and might need replacement to meet guidelines.

COVID-19 WORKPLACE SERVICES

When planning changes to building ventilation for maximizing occupant safety, we can help you identify safe practices and impact considerations.

HVAC RE-COMMISSIONING & PLANNING

Ensure safe ventilation rates and filtration with our HVAC systems evaluation, testing and implementation services. We can also help plan future building repairs/remodels to be pandemic ready.

Training

Train facility staff or educate management on safe COVID building operation practices and impacts. We provide remote training and presentations tailored to your facility type.

We consider appropriate building operation modes based on occupancy and pandemic conditions as well as facility types with specific operational considerations.

Modes (Defined by ASHRAE)

  • Occupied – Pre-COVID Capacity
  • Occupied – Reduced Capacity
  • Temporarily Unoccupied
  • Indefinitely Unoccupied
  • Re-Opening After Closure
  • Occupied – Post-COVID

Facility Types

  • Healthcare
  • Schools
  • Commercial
  • Labs
  • Transportation

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

These additional tools and resources can help inform your plan and efforts navigating the changing pandemic landscape.

Need help opening or operating your facilities safely during COVID-19?