Good office ventilation ensures lower chances of corona contaminations. Slowly but surely we are exchanging our home offices for the normal office again. However, it has recently been recognized that the chances of corona contamination in spaces with bad ventilation is much bigger. So how can you minimize the chances of corona contaminations at the office? With good office ventilation!
Bad ventilation is a source of contaminations
A Chinese research(1) has shown that bad ventilation is the main reason for corona infections indoors, especially in rooms with multiple persons present. Therefore, it is essential to continually ventilate the office. Ventilating is continuously refreshing the air. Here, air from outdoors replaces part of the polluted air from indoors, over and over again. The RIVM(2), the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and Environment, advises to ventilate indoor spaces 24 hours a day, because refreshing the air contributes to a healthy office climate. One can do this by means of a good ventilation system, but simply opening doors and windows will work as well. Research from the University of Amsterdam(3) shows that in a room where both the door and window are open, the amount of speaking- and coughing-droplets, is halved after only thirty seconds. This is ten times as fast as in a room without any form of ventilation. This indicates that good office ventilation is at least as important as ensuring 1.5 meters distance from others, in the fight against corona.
Can I still safely use my airconditioning system?
According to the Dutch Public Institute of National Health and Environment, ventilation and airconditioning systems are safe to continue using, if they are properly maintained. There is no scientific proof that these could cause a higher rate of contaminations. Yet, by means of precaution, it remains important to be careful in common spaces, such as the office.
A well-maintained airconditioning system is much safer than the use of a loose ventilator at the office, as the latter one can spread parts of the virus further. A decentral airconditioning system is the most safe. This ensures the maximum amount of fresh air, but prevents air from being carried from one room to another. The RIVM, The Dutch Institute of Public Health and Environment, therefore advises to only use a ventilator at the office when there is no other way of cooling possible, such as mechanic ventilation and/or airconditioning systems. If you do use a ventilator at the office, then ensure there is enough fresh air, by opening a window for example.
Based upon the advises of the RIVM, De Laat Koudetechniek advises the following measures for a safe office:
- Ensure there is enough fresh air. One can do this by means of ventilation systems and/or by opening doors and windows. In space where multiple people work, this is extra important.
- Ensure that ventilation and airconditioning systems are being maintained on a very regular basis. Especially when these have been switched off over the past months.
- Ensure continuous ventilation, 24 hours a day. Especially in critical office spaces, it is important for the virus not to go nesting. By setting the airconditioning or ventilation system on a low air speed and indirect cooling, you make sure that virus spreading is limited as much as possible.
- Use a decentral airconditioning system, or ventilate with a central airconditioning system with 100% outside air (if possible). It is very important that all aspirated air does not find its way back to other parts of the office.
Do you want to know more about using a ventilation or airconditioning system at your office? Please contact us, we would like to inform and help you.