Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Lawrence J. Schoen, P.E, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE

From ASHRAE Journal Newsletter, March 20, 2020

The HVAC systems in most non-medical buildings play only a small role in infectious disease transmission, including COVID-19. Knowledge is emerging about COVID-19, the virus that causes it (SARS-CoV-2), and how the disease spreads. Reasonable, but not certain, inferences about spread can be drawn from the SARS outbreak in 2003 (a virus genetically similar to SARS-CoV-2) and, to a lesser extent, from transmission of other viruses. Preliminary research has been recently released, due to the urgent need for information, but it is likely to take years to reach scientific consensus.

A 3D print of a spike protein of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—is shown in front of a 3D print of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle. Credit: NIH