The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund). The Fact Sheet for the ESSER II Fund and its uses can be found here.
The approved uses of the funds are the same as in the ESSER Fund (CARES Act), which includes upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings. As Building Automation experts, we outline the proven HVAC & Building Automation technologies and strategies schools can adopt to create a safer and healthier learning environment for students, faculty, and staff by reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses as well.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)’s position is that: “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled.” Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.
Indoor air quality can be improved and slow the transmission of viruses via the HVAC systems by:
- Increasing ventilation utilizing HVAC to maximize outside air to the spaces.
- Treating return air and or supply air via mechanical filtration, UV-C Light or Bipolar Ionization to neutralize the virus.
Ventilation and Building HVAC Operating Sequences
Existing HVAC sequences and scheduling can be optimized to address additional outside air ventilation needs with special attention to energy costs and the existing HVAC’s capability in handling this sequence change. With the large variety of HVAC applications existing in schools today, we cover best practices based on equipment in our HVAC & BAS Strategies for Healthy Schools webinar.
Disinfection Technologies: UV Light and Bipolar Ionization
UV-C Light and Bipolar Ionization are disinfection technologies that can inactivate the SARS-COV-2 virus, along with other viruses, with up to a 99% success rate. This technology is easy to install onto existing equipment and is specified based on the size of the unit, volume of air being moved, size of the ductwork, and the exposure time needed for virus inactivation.
To download a case study of Westtown School’s UV Light and Bipolar Ionization installation, click here.
We have created comprehensive Healthy Buildings Strategies for both K-12 and Higher Education institutions and are glad to share our experiences in installing these technologies and developing healthy building HVAC solutions. To schedule a webinar with further details on HVAC and BAS Strategies for Healthy Schools, contact us here.