Board Converting News, July 20, 2020

Balancing Clean Air (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )


Stressing the necessity of new cleaning protocols and low-cost building upgrades -- Property management ex- perts have already instituted a wide range of changes to their buildings, including: • Posting signage and messaging with CDC guidelines in common areas, break rooms, bathrooms, and con- ference rooms. • Defining travel patterns within the tenants’ space. • Limiting conference room capacity. • Bringing in additional outside air and replacing filters with more efficient MERV 13 filters. • Placing greater emphasis on cleaning high-touch sur- faces including doorknobs and elevator buttons. • Providing disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer sta- tions in lobbies. Observing that business owners have taken it upon themselves to: • Devise new seating arrangements; • Install shields between tables that face each other; • Require employees and customers to check their tem- perature upon arrival; and • Install automated fixtures in restrooms. Emphasizing it’s still necessary to prepare buildings for coming standards -- Some essential tips from ASHRAE to prepare buildings for occupancy re-entry: • Flush the air and water systems. • Assess air filtration systems. • Ensure that HVAC systems undergo maintenance, cleaning and are operating normally. • Install a SMART whole building ventilation controller system. Various chemicals may abound within a business. These range from employee and customer personal care products such as cosmetics, perfume and hair care prod- ucts, to sources of fossil fuel heat. In addition, many clean- ing agents, radon, humidity, and mold can add to respira- tory burdens. Experts recommend using simple measures to decrease exposure to air pollutants such as: • Cleaning; • Not allowing smoking; • Using dehumidifiers in high-humidity areas; • Installing carbon monoxide and radon monitors; and • Ensuring adequate ventilation through air exchange options. Offering technical guidance on changes to HVAC sys- tems -- In examining research from ASHRAE, CDC, WHO, and OSHA among others, the experts found that: • HVAC is not a major transmitter of viruses including COVID-19; transmission is mainly from person-to-per- son close contact over extended periods. However,


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July 20, 2020

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