The spread of SARS-CoV-2 since 2019 has rapidly become a global crisis with unprecedented records of deaths and hospitalizations in the last century. The infectious particles spread more easily indoors than outdoors and therefore built environment sector needs to find more effective engineering solutions to minimize the spread. Several health organisations and professional bodies suggest a layered approach to reduce infection rates which range from social distancing to improvements in ventilation strategies in buildings. Their approaches have widely been accepted and used worldwide even though with arguably low impact. Through a case study and by using dynamic simulations, this research studies the implications of recommended indoor ventilation requirements by COVID-19 protocols on existing office buildings in the UK. The findings highlight the related implications on thermal comfort and carbon emissions in three scenarios of building operation with natural ventilation and with mechanical ventilation (with and without heat recovery). This study shows a naturally ventilated building can maintain the required humidity level during the pandemic and the use of mechanical ventilation with no heat recovery is the least environmentally friendly solution among our scenarios.
Sajjadian, S. M. (2023). SARS-CoV-2, Ventilation Strategies, Thermal Comfort and Carbon Implications for Buildings. In PLEA STGO 2022: Book of Proceedings Volume 1 (160-164)