Mechanical System Solutions to Help Mitigate Spread of COVID

Most Important Action: Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality

Published 7-8-2020

Communities, corporations, and educational institutions are drafting plans to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, employing policies around personal protective equipment; keeping a 6-foot distance from co-workers, peers, and clients; and reconfiguring their physical spaces. Another potential mitigation strategy is to adjust a facility’s mechanical system to better protect the occupants, though that should not be considered the primary solution, cautions Michael Walsh, PE, LEED AP, senior mechanical engineer and principal at R.G. Vanderweil Engineers, LLP. “There’s no silver bullet,” he says.

Research Labs Begin Phased Reopening

Changes Include Lower Density and Strict Protocols

Published 6-24-2020

While many campuses remain closed to undergraduate students, at least through the summer, researchers are beginning a phased return to their labs, with new safety protocols that include face masks and social distancing; guidelines for space usage and maintenance; and staggered work schedules. Institutions are requiring that researchers continue to do as much work as possible remotely, including writing, analyzing data, and conferring with colleagues. In order for research to fully resume, however, faculty need access to their labs, but they first must be trained in the new protocols and agree to adhere to them; failure to do so will results in the loss of lab access.