Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal
Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal

In the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the leading European Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) associations – covering heating, mechanical ventilation, air-conditioning, lighting, and building automation and control systems – have issued a joint statement that asserts the dangers of indoor air pollution and outlines proposals that would help address the problem.

It cites the lack of a coherent EU legislative framework on the matter and proposes adding quality standards and policies to relevant directives and frameworks such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Occupational Safety and Health Strategic Framework, and public procurement practices.

The following extracts highlight the key recommendations outlined in the statement in the context of current evidence with regard to droplet (aerosol) transmission and airflow in a room.

Mechanical air renewal  — Mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning units should not be switched off. Rather, outdoor air supply volume flow should be elevated to increase the frequency of the replacement of polluted indoor air with outdoor air supply. The greater the number of air changes per hour (ACH) – a measure of ventilation rate – the more any aerosol can be diluted/removed.

Extended operating hours before and after the regular time-of-use should be actively considered. If air humidity control is possible with the mechanical ventilation or air-conditioning system, this functionality should also be used as evidence suggests that in drier environments, Covid-19 transmission increases. Therefore, it is recommended that relative air humidity be kept in the accepted comfort range between 40-60%.

See pdf of full story at Indoor air pollution


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