As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to show no signs of coming to a halt many are starting to adapt to the numerous challenges that come with living in its midst. Businesses, in particular, are continuously finding new ways to thrive despite the difficulties they face. Apart from that, the biggest concern is keeping employees and clients safe. And while there is no complete fool-proof method of preventing infection, there are many ways MEP engineering can drastically minimize the risks. We at Source2Load Engineering and Consulting aim to help combat the global pandemic through our MEP design services not just in Texas but in neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
Health protocols combating COVID-19 center mostly on strict hygiene protocols, social distancing, and personal protective equipment. However, few are aware that building design features can also be a good measure to protect occupants from infection. So today, let’s talk about how MEP Engineering can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in buildings.
Implement Usage of Ultraviolet Light
UVC light is not just known to be effective in killing viruses and bacteria but is also considered the safest when it comes to disinfecting surfaces and spaces. With that being said, HVAC units with integrated UVC lighting are recommended for use in enclosed spaces. This ensures that the air being filtered throughout a room is disinfected. Not only is it energy-efficient, but it can also kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers has been providing their own detailed COVID-19 prevention guidelines for different types of buildings. Most are focused on three aspects which are:
To increase ventilation using outdoor air.
To deploy ultraviolet germicidal irradiation.
To upgrade filter ratings to effectively capture viral particles.
These aspects are based on how long SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infection, is suspended in indoor air. These facets together with increasing the outdoor air supply while reducing air recirculation as much as possible is a great preventive measure to combat spread inside buildings.
A recent study conducted in a nursery school found that maintaining relative humidity above 40% lowers the number of infectious droplets in the air. To be more specific, maintaining relative humidity between 40-60% reduces the risk of transmitting airborne pathogens in a “dry aerosol” form. This should be incorporated by designers more so during the winter months and one way of doing this is through indoor plants which not only contribute to humidification strategies but also improve mental well-being.
Air Quality Monitoring
Annual, one-time, and continuous air quality testing is being conducted by third-party human health and sustainability certification standards to monitor performance-based air quality results. Indoor air quality metrics included are total volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, CO2, humidity, and temperature. These are all checked to ensure compliance with building health issues and energy demand concerns. Through this, establishments are guaranteed to ensure premium air quality within their buildings to minimize the risk of airborne pathogens.
It is clear that although much is still unknown about COVID-19, it is here to stay for the foreseeable future. That is why proper MEP design is needed to combat the spread of the virus. Furthermore, this will help businesses maintain their operations and provide services as well as employment to the people around them. So if you are in need of professional MEP design services don’t hesitate to call us at Source2Load Engineering and Consulting.