For the 2021-2022 academic year, we’ve done three important things to ensure good airflow in our teaching spaces.
- In accordance with CDC recommendations, in most of our academic buildings, we’ve upgraded the air filters from MERV-8 to MERV-13. In the handful of modular buildings we have, which use different HVAC systems where the use of MERV-13 filters are not appropriate, we have upgraded to MERV-9 filters.
- We brought in professional airflow consultants to test our classroom spaces to ensure that our systems are providing at least the CDC-recommended 4.0 complete air exchanges per hour (ACH). We were very heartened by their report showing that the overwhelming majority of our classrooms meet or substantially exceed these standards. Where a few classrooms were found to be slightly under 4.0 ACH, we have investigated the HVAC units to ensure they are working properly and will be retesting those spaces.
- We have been systematically checking the current course enrollments scheduled in each space to ensure that we are providing the percentage of fresh air recommended by ASHRAE for that number of people. Where necessary, we are opening fresh air dampers to increase the percentage of outdoor fresh airflow to individual classrooms. The amount of fresh air that our HVAC systems are bringing into each space is being calibrated to ensure we meet or exceed these ASHRAE standards.
You can view the Airflow Data as of September 28, 2021, which shows the airflow testing results and the percentage of fresh air being provided to individual classrooms across campus. A total of 88 classroom and teaching spaces in LARTS, CVPA, DION, the Auditorium, the Library, and Modular Trailers 2, 3, and 4 have been tested as of September 8. Of these 88 spaces, 84, or 95%, sustained the CDC-recommended 4.0 air exchanges per hour (ACH). Adjustments were immediately made in the four rooms with fewer than 4.0 ACH, and those rooms are scheduled to be retested soon, along with any classrooms that have not yet been tested. Updated airflow test results will be posted as soon as the university receives them.