Impact of Covid on Services Design

August 5, 2020 , , , , ,

Cian Dowling, Director, Axiseng

The SARS-CoV2 virus which causes Covid-19 has had a significant impact on all aspects of our lives and none more so than on the built environment. Its emergence has highlighted potential long-term risks that have forced many people to rethink what the workplace is. The early signs indicate that much of this change will focus on remote working, but also that the office environment is here to stay and will need to adapt to meet these emerging demands, writes Cian Dowling, Director, Axiseng.

There are several sources of information on how SARS-CoV2 will impact the design and operation of HVAC systems. However, guidance should be taken from recognisable bodies in that field such as CIBSE, REHVA and ASHRAE.

All these bodies have a common thread to their advice which is that increasing ventilation rates in buildings is the most effective means of reducing the risks to occupants. The principle is to dilute and ideally remove airborne pathogens as much as possible, thus reducing the risk to the users of the space.

This will have an impact on the design and operation of existing buildings, largely due to current thinking that SARS-CoV-2 (“the virus”) is more likely to spread from within the building, and not through the supply of external air. Therefore, increasing fresh air into a building is an important element in reducing the risk of spreading the virus.

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