CIBSE and REHVA have issued recommendations to those responsible for managing building services, to reduce airborne exposures by reassessing building operations, including the process of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning. REHVA- is the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Associations, CIBSE – is The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

CIBSE recommends that “any ventilation or air conditioning system that normally runs with a recirculation mode should now be set up to run on full outside air where this is possible.” Air recirculation principle has been widely used over the years because of its energy-saving potential.

CIBSE and REHVA guidance documents emphasise exposure mechanisms based on small droplets and particles that can transmit through the air within buildings.

So, with CIBSE and REHVA guidance on Covid-19 in mind, how can HVAC professionals and facility managers minimise the spread of other airborne diseases such as the flu, in buildings that apply air-recirculation?

Is a fundamental change in building air circulation strategies approaching? or, as noted by Bere: Architects, “Covid-19 should be a wake-up call for the building industry, for governments and for statutory regulators of the construction industry.”