COVID-19

ASHRAE Ireland Chapter response to COVID-19

Like all individuals and businesses globally, ASHRAE Ireland has had to adapt and respond to the ‘new normal’ we face during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward towards with phased lifting of lockdown restrictions, and return to workplaces, there are a lot of questions to be answered on how best to manage this transition safely and effectively, particularly on how we monitor, maintain and control our building HVAC systems. 

ASHRAE Ireland Chapter aims to address some of the challenges by helping to disseminate factual and evidence-based technical information to our members. We plan to achieve this through the following key channels:

  1. ASHRAE Ireland has formed a new COVID-19 sub-committee specifically focused on gathering and disseminating guidance for Ireland. 
  2. We are launching a new mini-series of technical webinars on the theme of tackling spread of airborne infectious diseases, commencing at 1pm on 18th June.
    http://ashrae-ireland.org/webinar-series/ . Registration is open here:
    https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7176821764609799947
  3. Finally, in parallel to these technical webinars, we will run a series of  short technical articles from expert members of ASHRAE and invited speakers, which will be published on our website over the coming months.

ASHRAE Ireland Chapter are committed to supporting our local members, and hope we can continue to do so through the initiatives outlined above. As a non-profit voluntary organisation, we rely on your support through sponsorship and engagement on our various committees.

If you are interested in participating in our Chapter activities, please contact secretary@ashrae-ireland.org or check our website for further information. 

A message from ASHRAE President Darryl Boyce

Like all businesses around the globe, ASHRAE must react to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Society determines how to respond to the evolving circumstances, our highest priority is the safety and welfare of our volunteers and staff. ASHRAE recently announced the creation of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force to help deploy ASHRAE’s technical resources to address the challenges of the current pandemic and future epidemics as it relates to the effects of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems on disease transmission in healthcare facilities, the workplace, home, public and recreational environments.

Members will be kept informed as ASHRAE adapts to these rapidly changing circumstances. We hope that you and your families are healthy, safe and secure.

ASHRAE Statements regarding SARS-CoV-2 Transmission

ASHRAE leadership has approved the following two statements regarding transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the operation of HVAC systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.
  2. Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. Unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life threatening and that may also lower resistance to infection. In general, disabling of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Further Reading

ASHRAE Guidance

Other professional Organisations

  • REHVA Guidance (Link)
  • CIBSE Guidance (Link)
  • BESA – Building Engineering Services Association (Link)

Government Agencies

  • Irish Government (HSA / HSE consultation) (Link)
  • National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) COVID-19 Subgroup – Vulnerable People (Link)

Private Companies

  • Arbnco – Return to Work Whitepaper (Link)

Disclaimer: Information on these pages is provided as a service to the public. While every effort is made to provide accurate and reliable information, this is advisory, is provided for informational purposes only. These are not intended and should not be relied upon as official statements of ASHRAE.