operated, and maintained, bipolar ionization systems can reduce dust and mold, capture odors, reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and reduce viruses and bacteria in the air. Ions generated by these devices typically have a relatively short lifes- pan, so it’s important to regularly pass room air over the ion generator to ensure sufficient contact. Typically, bipolar ionization generators are installed in the ductwork or directly in the air handling unit. As with any ionization product, it is important to investigate the potential to create ozone, which has proven negative effects on human health, as a byproduct of operation. Displacement Ventilation A solution for new construction, displacement ventilation can be ap- plied to improve air quality within a venue. By providing the air low in the space and exhausting 100 percent of the air high in the space, the natural movement of air will entrain small particles (aerosols) and remove them from the breathing zone where they will be exhausted from the building. When needed, venue operators also have the ability to provide 100 percent outside air. However, this extreme operation should only be used in extreme cases, like “pandemic mode,” due to the associated negative energy consequence and potential comfort im- pact depending on the surrounding climate. ASHRAE acknowledges displacement ventilation as providing a better air quality and removing particles such as viruses and bacteria in a more effective manner. In addition to better air quality, this air distribu- tion method provides energy savings (when not in 100 percent outside air mode) and a better user experience in terms of comfort. Surface Transmission The reason we all know the importance of hand hygiene is greatly tied to the potential for surface transmission. This transmission is typically caused when someone touches a surface that has been contaminated, ei- ther by droplets landing on the surface or by an object or person carrying the virus, and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. In a large venue, the number of touchpoints is incredibly high and increase cleaning pro- tocols may not be enough to mitigate the risk of surface transmission. Contactless Fixtures & Processes Designers are working feverishly to make all possible fixtures in ven- ues contactless. This includes door operators, faucets, hand dryers, flush valves, and drinking fountains. Within restrooms, external doors can be removed, and line of sight partitions can be added. Additionally, entry doors can be propped open or modified to accept mechanical opening systems. Elevator controls are another area that can be ad- dressed by touchless options. Digital ticketing has become mainstream in the last few years and has never been more important than now. In the same realm, all point- of-sale locations can implement pay-in-advance technology via smart- phone applications. Venue design, especially with regard to telecom infatuation, will be imperative as facilities continue to embrace a heightened focus on these capabilities.
Cleanability Evaluate the material of your flooring and seating and provide surfaces that can be readily and efficiently cleaned. Cloth seats or dense pile carpeting creates a tougher cleaning scenario and thus a greater risk of surface transmission. High touch items such as counters, handrails, and seats should be evaluated for longevity and cleanability. Venue managers must increase surface cleaning of all surfaces to pro- tect the welfare of patrons. With thousands of spectators in a venue touching these surfaces, the risk of transmission is high. This can be achieved through increased cleaning protocols as well as the use of handheld UV systems that may offer a quicker solution. When the doors re-open to spectator events, ensuring the venue design feels safe for fans and patrons will be critical. While no silver bullet exists, we can utilize technology and science to create the best spaces possible for a safe and enjoyable visit in the interim. Many of the solu- tions presented can be done at low cost and ultimately provide a better long-term fan experience. Contact Henderson’s Venue Practice Direc- tor Kevin Lewis for more information on how to best prepare your facility for a major comeback.
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