Good ventilation in indoor environments can limit the spread of COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory disease. Aerosol scientists have made important contributions in developing ventilation guidelines. Characterising ventilation at the room level can informed decision making about mitigation measures. This paper highlights various approaches for measuring ventilation and case studies in university and K-12 school classrooms.
How can you measure ventilation in classrooms to maintain healthy air quality?
A team of aerosol scientists from nine universities recently published a paper describing ventilation studies conducted over the COVID-19 pandemic at educational spaces across the US, from coastal CA to the mountain west, the southeast, and the northeast. Working with building and facilities managers in these institutions, ventilation rates were measured in classrooms using different methods and compared across various building types, ages, locations, and climates. Naturally ventilated spaces were found to be optimally assessed using CO2 controlled release tests while in situ monitoring using reliable, low-cost air sensors was highlighted as an accessible method for non-specialists and useful when evaluating ventilation in occupied spaces. Applying best practices for measuring room-level ventilation can guide ventilation strategies and occupancy levels.
Read more in the literature:
McNeill, V.F., et al. Room-level ventilation in schools and universities. Atmospheric Environment: X. 13:100152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeaoa.2022.100152
Read more in the media:
Italian study shows ventilation can cut school COVID cases by 82% https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/italian-study-shows-ventilation-can-cut-school-covid-cases-by-82-2022-03-22/
This issue’s Newsletter Committee:
Editor | Kerry Kelly, University of UtahSenior Assistant Editor | Krystal Pollitt, Yale UniversityJunior Assistant Editor | Justice Archer, University of BristolGuest Contributor | Dong Gao