Addressing Need for Low-Cost Ventilation Screening Tool in a Pandemic World

COVID-19 has permanently or temporarily altered numerous aspects of our lives. As a testing, adjusting and balancing provider, NorthWest Engineering Service, Inc. was one of many entities to immediately recognize the importance of ventilation and ASHRAE recommended air changes per hour in mitigating the effects of coronavirus. In fact, ventilation is arguably one of the more important recommendations being discussed in the first months of the crisis.

Unfortunately, the answer was not as simple as maximizing outside air and walking away – that is a temporary solution at best. It is important to recognize the energy and equipment lifetime impacts that can happen when HVAC systems are called upon to operate beyond design intent.

The ideal solution, technically, would be to undertake a full room-by-room TAB project to make sure all building occupants are breathing properly diluted air in every part of every room.

But this is certainly not the ideal solution from the standpoint of budget. In particular, clients with many, multi-story buildings, like hospitals, colleges and large school districts, don’t typically plan for a campus-wide TAB project in a single year. And even if money can be found, more time cannot.

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