Energy Implications of Increased Ventilation in Commercial Buildings to Mitigate Airborne Pathogen Transmission

One proposed mitigation to reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other airborne pathogens is to increase ventilation in buildings. This measure can be difficult to implement in existing buildings and has the potential environmental costs of increased energy consumption to condition the additional airflow, as well as other potential costs such as the disposal of existing serviceable mechanical equipment and the manufacture and delivery of new equipment.

Application of airtightness to healthcare buildings

The thrust of airtightness specification and testing is derived from energy considerations. The application to healthcare buildings and specialist laboratory facilities embodies the same principles but derives the appropriateness of the criteria with reference to [a] producing controlled and controllable cascading pressure zones and [b] specifying or quantifying the potential exposure in the event of failure of mechanical ventilation.