Enhanced SARS-CoV-2 indoor ventilation protocols for naturally ventilated educational and office spaces
The aim of this project is to raise awareness about the importance of ventilation and air quality in educational buildings during the Covid-19 pandemic and in general. CovEd aims to rapidly equip a number of school and university teaching environments using a lightweight and affordable mechanical extract ventilation system. The hybrid (natural + mechanical) systems we are using were initially designed and tested by the Max Planck Institute (MPI), Germany as a means of substantially reducing the SARS-CoV-2 viral aerosol content in classrooms. These pilot projects will serve two important functions. Firstly, they will act as exemplar projects to raise public awareness of the importance of providing adequate ventilation during an airborne viral pandemic. A key part of this is providing evidence of their acceptability in use, as well as their cost-effective installation and operation. Secondly, these pilot projects will allow the research team to gather important data about the room environmental conditions and the user acceptability of such systems, in order to make comparative assessments to the conditions in similar rooms using natural ventilation and alternative ventilation strategies. This evidence base is important in relation to the wider rollout of such systems since the cost/benefit ratio and the thermal (and acoustic) comfort of the occupants are likely to be influential factors in their successful adoption (Guillén-Lambea et al., 2016).
Project management Univ. Prof. Dr Robert McLeod (Principal investigator) Graz University of Technology, Institute for Building Physics, Services and Construction Univ. Prof. Dr Christina Hopfe (Co-investigator, Head of Institute) Graz University of Technology, Institute for Building Physics, Services and Construction DI Fatos Pollozhani (Project Manager) Graz University of Technology, Institute for Building Physics, Services and Construction