‘Spread of coronavirus via ventilation is underestimated’ – Companies

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You may already be dreaming about them, the six golden rules to prevent corona infections: washing hands, keeping your distance, limiting contacts, preferably outside activities, thinking about vulnerable people and following the rules about meetings. According to virologists, a seventh can be added, good ventilation.

According to the inspection company Vinçotte, companies, but also schools, warehouses and concert halls, underestimate the spread of the corona virus through their ventilation systems. “Ventilation installations for cold and warm air (HVAC: heating, ventilation, air conditioning) do not stop viruses as standard”, it sounds.

According to the inspection company Vinçotte, companies, but also schools, warehouses and concert halls, underestimate the spread of the corona virus through their ventilation systems. “Ventilation installations for cold and warm air (HVAC: heating, ventilation, air conditioning) do not stop viruses as standard”, it says. Companies are currently only obliged to check their HVAC installations for the energetic aspect and to prevent leaks, but not for the health aspect. “Almost all contemporary HVAC installations are geared towards energy efficiency”, explains Nico Seymus, corporate consultancy manager at Vinçotte. “That is why in most cases they reuse air from inside the building that has already been cooled or heated. That is precisely why a virus can spread more easily. It is therefore important to map the risks of the current systems and based on this, concrete measures for every building. This is one of the things that companies still take too little into account to prevent the spread of the virus. “” We are getting more questions about this, “says Marc Buyle, automation manager at the services company ATS , a subsidiary of energy group Luminus. “Concerned users inquire about the possibilities for better ventilation. Even if we are not overwhelmed with it.” ATS is a b2b company that has companies and hospitals as customers. “The trend towards newer installations, which also measure temperature and air quality, has been going on for a few years, but is now accelerating. I think there will be a post-corona era for dealing with the workplace.” Those newer installations can, for example, measure how comfortable the air quality is in a meeting room, based on a number of parameters such as air temperature, CO2 level, etc. Buyle: “In principle, such systems do not have to cost more. Although it remains of course the case that when you bring in more cold air in the winter, you need more energy to heat it, and the other way around in the summer.” all buildings and companies have such a modern system. “Much also depends on the specifications for a tender, which quality parameters it contains. Installations must also be monitored. If the customer wishes, we can store and manage that data, and notify them when something is wrong or maintenance is required. , … There is still a lot of work to be done. ” Belgium has an old building park. “In many cases the indoor air quality leaves much to be desired. Ventilation systems do not stop viruses, but they can minimize the risk of spreading them, provided they work correctly, are well maintained and the filters are replaced in time”, says Roel Berlaen. communications manager of Renson in Waregem, specialist in ventilation and sun protection. “It is therefore important to remove the polluted indoor air and replace it with fresh outdoor air.” During the first corona wave, Renson already received many questions from school boards about CO2 meters. Such a device warns when it is time to flush the classroom with fresh air. “Certainly for school buildings, they are sometimes quite old, and there is no budget for a modern ventilation system that also monitors the CO2 level, moisture or odor.” This does not necessarily have to have consequences for the energy efficiency of the system, says Berlaen. “Other systems recover the heat from the used indoor air to heat up the incoming outdoor air. This limits heat losses, but there is ventilation for the entire home. While it makes no sense to ventilate the living room or bedroom when you are there. A smart demand-driven system will only ventilate where and when it is needed.At the same time, it remains relative in a family home: if you are sitting on the couch with your partner who has corona, you probably will not get infected via the ventilation system. schools or companies it is absolutely relevant, and in many of those buildings there is still much room for improvement. ”



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