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Case Study | OEHS

Case Study, OHS Featured

Improving Indoor Air Quality for a Community College District

NES assisted the district by evaluating educational and staff spaces across five site in an effort to mitigate COVID-19 risk, improve indoor environmental quality and prepare the district’s building for re-occupancy.

Industry: Higher Education

Company Size: N/A

Location: Northern California

The Challenge

Stakeholders including faculty and students were concerned about the engineering controls in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure spaces were prepared for re-occupancy, NES was retained to evaluate ventilation adequacy, cite sub-optimal conditions, evaluate indoor air quality and recommend necessary actions.

The NES Solution

The first phase of the return-to-campus effort consisted of a qualitative HVAC assessments to evaluate the condition of air handling units for issues that may negatively impact indoor air quality and effective dilution ventilation. Sub-optimal observations related to structural and component integrity, contamination sources, insulation material, filter conditions, condensate drainage and overall cleanliness were reported, and the appropriate recommendations were furnished for each inspected unit.

The second phase involved creating an assessment workbook to evaluate spaces prioritized for re-occupancy. A one-page report for each space was generated in real time, highlighting effective air changes per hour (ACH), minimum requirements for outdoor air, and recommended minimum clean air delivery rate (CADR) of HEPA-filtered air as a supplemental mitigation to achieve the desired target ACH.

Efforts to maintain a healthy environment were evident in constant communication and transparency. Results of the assessment were published and made accessible to the community, faculty, and students. The client addressed deficiencies and deployed supplemental technologies based on NES’s recommendations.

NES delivered an interactive data collection and reporting product that was easy to access and interpret. The deliverable helped the district’s leadership in making efficient financial and engineering decisions to manage stakeholders’ concerns.