COVID-19: Ventilation

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The evidence continues to suggest that in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, airborne aerosols are a possible transmission route of SARS-CoV-2, and the precautionary advice remains valid. Maintaining good levels of ventilation remains the key focus, even in colder weather conditions, whilst minimising occupant discomfort due to draughts and lower indoor temperatures.

The risk of exposure follows a law of diminishing returns as the ventilation rate is increased. That is, the ventilation rate should be increased above the minimum statutory rates wherever possible, but this must be balanced against the need to moderate energy demand and carbon emissions and to ensure the thermal comfort of the occupants. Ventilation should be provided year-round, but the strategy and delivery rate may vary by season.

As businesses continue to manage the return of staff to work and the continuing operation of buildings through the pandemic, a number of issues will need to be considered for the safety of those entering the buildings.

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