In March, John Hamilton, Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (TABB) chief operating officer, joined the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force.

The task force’s Building Readiness Committee, of which Hamilton is a member, has spent the last several months preparing guidance on the best practices for reopening buildings after prolonged shutdown.

For Hamilton, it was important that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) testing, adjusting and balancing be part of the conversation.

“Ventilation and filtration provided by HVAC systems can reduce the airborne concentration of the virus and, thus, the risk of transmission through the air. But if the system is not working properly the positives are completely negated,” Hamilton said.

As a member of the task force, Hamilton said he wants to ensure building owners, operators and occupants take a properly working HVAC seriously and are educated as to why it’s important to hire trained and certified TAB technicians.

“Over time, the HVAC system in a building can slip, or people can close vents that are supposed to be open,” Hamilton said. “Through the process of testing, adjusting and balancing, certified technicians determine what the appropriate air flows are supposed to be in different spaces, and then go through and verify that the areas are achieving those airflows. If they aren’t, they are corrected.”

ASHRAE created the task force to maintain communication with its members, industry partners, building owners, facility operators, government agencies and the general public.

In early May, the building readiness committee issued its guidance of best practices for reopening buildings. That guidance can be found on ASHRAE’s website at: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/building-readiness#intent

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