SEDAC recommends conducting a risk assessment to identify the areas of a building where COVID-19 transmission risk is highest. SEDAC reached out to 3Flow, a company that recently developed a tool to help facility managers complete a risk assessment. 3Flow's building risk assessment tool can be accessed here. We are sharing it with their permission. This tool helps you analyze airflows, building layouts, and occupancy patterns to identify the areas of your building that are at highest risk for COVID-19 transmission.
Q: Can I use the risk analysis tool to analyze different building types? What if I don't know how to rank some of the inputs in the spreadsheet?
A: The risk analysis tool can be used for most building types. The inputs and all weighting factors for each input can be altered, but it is rarely necessary to do so. In most instances, it should be used as-is. Use your best estimate when entering data into the spreadsheet, and err on the side of caution. You can also contact SEDAC for assistance.
Q: Are there other methods to study airflow in a space?
A: Tracer gasses are used to study how particulates migrate in a space, or space to space. Tracer gas studies require sophisticated equipment being installed in a space, locating sensors around the room, releasing a tracer gas, and recording concentrations at various locations.
Q: What is computational fluid design (CFD) analysis, what is is used for, and how expensive is it?
A: CFD provides the ability to model how air--and contaminants--move and mix throughout a room. Building spaces depend on air distribution from mechanical ventilation on air-conditioning systems to provide thermal comfort and good air quality. Without adequate air distribution, excessive air movement may occur in some zones, and stagnant air may be present in others. Poor air distribution can affect the indoor climate, degrade air quality, and contribute to virus transmission. One CFD expert estimated that evaluating and modeling existing conditions would be approximately $7,500. Simple alterations to that model to examine different conditions would be $2,500 to $3,000, and more complex alterations would be more.
Filtration & air cleaning
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation
Have a question about building modifications during COVID-19? Contact SEDAC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.214.7954.
Interested in receiving a COVID-19 Readiness Building Assessment? SEDAC's COVID-19 Readiness Assessments give you the independent, expert advice you need to identify medium to high risk spaces and make building modifications to reduce the risk of virus transmission.