What does SARS-CoV-2 teach us about building ventilation? Why should we care about it when there is a vaccine?
This pandemic has pointed out the importance of aerosol transmission in the propagation of diseases and more specifically respiratory diseases (such as the flue). Even if the vaccine stops the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal diseases (flue, colds, bronchiolitis, etc.) will remain and it will still be important to limit their propagation indoors as their direct and indirect costs are huge 1.
A well-performing ventilation system reduces the concentration of infected aerosol in the air and thus the risk of becoming contaminated by breathing infected aerosol 2, 3.
This stresses the need to install well-designed, well-commissioned and well-maintained ventilation systems in buildings, all the more in spaces where social distances are respected and therefore where aerosol transmission is the main source of infection (ex. non-residential building).
It highlights also the need to raise awareness among public authorities, building professionals, building owners and users on the crucial subject of building ventilation.
Valérie Leprince, INIVE