Safe Buildings and Spaces: Cleaning and HVAC Systems
The University continues to follow Federal, State, Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines to ensure a healthy and safe campus environment for the entire community.
Summary of Measures Taken to Date
The Office of Facilities Management (FM) has provided deep cleaning and disinfection of buildings and instituted additional cleaning protocols per CDC Guidelines, including switching to cleaning products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/CDC.
FM has also developed a checklist for teams to evaluate every building on campus. Cleaning crews have updated cleaning procedures, and buildings are inspected daily. In addition to this, FM has also:
- Comprehensively evaluated HVAC systems and completed upgrades to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) – Learn more about the University’s Ventilation Assessment and Action Plans
- Secured EPA and CDC-approved cleaning supplies
- Installed over 500 hand sanitizing stations
- Installed signage for entrances, corridors, bathrooms, and other areas
In partnership with EH&S and CMRO, Facilities Management completed a comprehensive ventilation assessment and verification process of all campus building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, ensuring systems meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) IAQ guidelines recommended by the CDC.
To further improve air quality, HVAC systems are operating 24 hours a day, with automated energy economizer and demand control sequences paused, exceeding ASHRAE Standards.
All HVAC systems are routinely inspected and maintenance performed as required, including air filter replacements. Additionally, the University’s Building Management System monitors over 800,000 sensors located throughout many campus buildings, providing 24/7 monitoring and control of HVAC systems through Facilities Management’s staffed Energy Operations Center. Continuous commissioning/fault detection is used to ensure building systems are operating properly to identify and resolve HVAC system needs.
- How have indoor HVAC systems been updated to mitigate the risk of virus spread?
- Every HVAC system on campus has been assessed to ensure they meet Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) guidelines, completing system maintenance, upgrading systems and optimizing air flow by providing a higher percentage of outdoor air through mechanical system when possible and window use. The University is following recommended guidance from the CDC and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
- How is indoor air quality measured?
- FM utilizes a layered approach to monitor IAQ. This includes continuous commissioning software Building Automation Systems and Air Monitoring Systems (Aircuity) where applicable.
- What types of air filters are used and how often are they replaced?
- A variety of air filters are utilized based on system capacity including HEPA, MERV 14, 13, and 8
- If I open windows for air circulation, what do I do in cold or inclement weather?
- Facilities Management recommends opening a window when entering the room for 10 minutes and periodically throughout the day during cold or inclement weather, being sure to close the window at the end of the day.
- If I don’t have operable windows, is this an issue for air circulation in my area?
- Use of rooms with no mechanical air circulation or operable windows should be limited to single occupant use
- Can I bring an air purifier to work?
- Portable air purifiers can be used in single use offices. Please consult with Facilities Management and EH&S prior to use in areas with higher occupancy.
- Is there one HVAC system per building, more or less?
- The number of systems is dependent on building size and use.
- Who do I contact in Facilities Management if I have questions about cleaning, HVAC, or other safety measures being taken in my building?
- If you have further questions about cleaning, HVAC, or other safety measures, contact your building Facility Manager