The publication of clear guidance from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) on the measures that must be taken prior to the re-occupation of buildings, will give building owners a clear roadmap for the months ahead, says Priva UK.
As concern and fear grows regarding the risks associated with the airborne transmission of the COVID-19 virus, CIBSE’s advice is ‘to increase ventilation as much as possible, increasing the flow of outside air and preventing any pockets of stagnant air. Recirculation of air within buildings should be avoided to reduce the risk of transmission’. CIBSE also warns that this increased demand for recirculation of air will – very likely – result in an increase in energy bills.
Gavin Holvey, Sales Manager Priva UK & Ireland, believes that the building services industry will play a central role in helping businesses adapt to the ‘new normal’.
“Right now, all of us, whether we are employers, building owners, building engineers or FMs – are desperately seeking clarity on how to make our buildings safe and fit for purpose. Strong leadership and guidance is needed – and these new publications from CIBSE are a vital starting point,” he says.
Priva shares CIBSE’s view that the pathway to making buildings safe for returners to work requires specialist expertise.
“The role played by FMs and building engineers is often overlooked. But we must now understand that these people are critical to our economy – without them, and their specialist skills – we simply can’t get our built environment into a shape where people can feel safe in buildings,” comments Gavin Holvey.
“Calculating the appropriate volume of outside air, and reconfiguring existing air handling systems to provide it, needs expertise,” says the launch information from CIBSE. As such, its engineers are finding that their skills are suddenly very much in demand.
As well as ventilation and air conditioning, the CIBSE guidance also reminds building owners and managers that checks will be required on water systems – which will need flushing – and lifts and escalators that have been idle for weeks. Emergency systems also need to be checked and new regimes established for working and recreational spaces.
Click here to read the latest CIBSE guidance.