Revisiting Air Filtration in the COVID-19 Era

Design engineers and facilities engineers must cooperate to ensure modified hospital engineering systems minimize the coronavirus risk

December 15, 2020

MikeDotta /

Hospital HVAC systems play an integral role in limiting the transmission of infectious diseases to other patients, health care staff and visitors. These systems are by no means the only safeguard to protect doctors and nurses from infection, but an enhanced HVAC system design minimizes the recirculation of COVID-19-contaminated air in a hospital’s air distribution system.

As managers continue to learn more about the means of transmission of COVID-19, the design engineer and facilities engineer need to work together to ensure that modified hospital engineering systems can perform effectively to minimize the risk associated with nosocomial transmission of the coronavirus, according to Health Facilities Management

The goals of ventilation systems are to replace contaminated air with clean air, to minimize the mixing of dirty and clean air and to regulate ambient temperature and humidity to help with asepsis and odor. The minimum filtration requirement is mandated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASHRAE/American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Standard 170-2017, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, for specific filter efficiencies for all spaces in the healthcare environment. 

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