By Belinda Kenley, Vice President, Energy Optimizers, USA
Like many of you, we have spent the last few months learning how best to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe and healthy during this pandemic.
Here at Energy Optimizers, USA, this has involved listening closely to building and public health experts, examining old and new technologies, and speaking with school districts across the state about their anticipated needs and perceived challenges.
Building on our 10 years of experience serving schools, we have developed a new “Healthy Buildings” program, designed to provide quick and cost-effective solutions to schools in need as you gear up for the 2020/21 school year. In addition to the fundamental PPE items you are purchasing, we encourage you to look at engineering solutions, including building controls programming and hardware upgrades such as UV filtration systems.
Changes to building operations, including the operation of HVAC systems, can reduce airborne exposures of COVID-19. As a start, you can increase outdoor air ventilation by disabling demand-controlled ventilation and opening outdoor air dampers to 100% as indoor and outdoor conditions permit.
Specific measures to implement with your own facilities staff:
- Enable outside air economizer mode
- Increase minimum outside air
- Disable demand control ventilation
- Check airflow to large office areas, conference rooms and other spaces
- Maintain proper pressurization of building pressure and toilet exhaust
- Consider early startup and delayed shutdown (2 hours)
Contact Belinda Kenley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more guidance and information. We wish you all the best as you develop plans to get staff and students into either a remote or on-site schedule.