UK Government Advice on COVID-19 Secure Workplaces
As businesses start to consider bringing staff back into work premises, a number of crucial issues need to be considered for the safety of everyone entering buildings, particularly in relation to ventilation systems. The UK government has published a comprehensive report setting out guidance on how to work safely. It gives practical considerations of how this can be applied in the workplace. Naturally, ventilation is an important aspect to consider in vehicles, carriages, transport hubs and office buildings to minimise the risk of spread of COVID-19. Employers must, by law, ensure an adequate supply of fresh air in the workplace. Good ventilation can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, so they must focus on improving general ventilation, preferably through fresh air or mechanical systems. The circulation of outside air needs to be improved and pockets of stagnant air in occupied spaces should be prevented.
Evidence is beginning to emerge that SARS-CoV2 can spread by very small particles (aerosols) which are released by an infected person when they cough, sneeze, talk and breathe, as well as the larger droplets that are released.These fine aerosols can remain airborne for several hours.
To help the organisations/employers, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has published a report providing practical advice, intended to give business owners and managers an outline of ventilation systems commonly encountered in buildings to assist in the preparation to re-open workplaces. This guidance will inform considerations of safe working practices and the provision of ventilation in buildings. The advice contained in this document specifically concerns the ventilation provision in indoor spaces and presents advice as to what can be done to reduce the risk of viral infection transmission indoors, as such it should be read in conjunction with advice on social distancing, cleaning and other building management advice.
Using advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques, we have unique expertise in modelling and simulation of different ventilation systems including both natural and mechanical ventilation systems (e.g. supply/extract, heat recovery, extraction, air conditioning, fan coils, chilled beams and etc). Our simulation tools allow a meticulous assessment of the current ventilation system to obtain key parameters such as air freshness level (air residence time), air change per hour, particle extraction, temperature/pressure/velocity measurement, etc. This would enable us to assess the performance of existing ventilation systems in minimising the risks of airborne transmission of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV2) in any workplace. We also have experience in optimisation vaccine storage and refrigeration. Below are some recent examples of our simulation and design projects for a wide range of HVAC systems. For more information Contact Us.
Examples of Our HVAC Design and Assessment Projects
Smoke Extraction Systems
CFD modelling to assess the effectiveness of smoke extraction from the carpark for a large building and its effects on the building. The model used accurate regional wind data an smoke was modelled by chemical species.
Sector: Building Services | Company: McAleer&McGarrity, Ireland.
Local Exhaust Ventilation
CFD-based shape optimisation of a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system. The optimisation was based on suction force as well as the number of particles travelling through the bellmouth.
Simulation of refrigeration system in a large industrial cold store for vaccine storage and assessing the effectiveness of the system by analysing transient heat transfer and residence time and optimising performance.
Sector: HVAC | Company: Piggott&Whitfield.
Ultra Clean Room Simulation
CFD simulation of different ventilation systems and designs, for different industries, with particular expertise in modelling complex and novel designs for hospitals, workshops and laboratories.
Sector: Healthcare | Company: Medical Air Technologies, UK.
Clean Room Ventilation
Simulation and design optimisation of a cleanroom ventilation by simulating different scenarios and assessing the effectiveness of ventilation system and air quality and freshness.
Sector: Manufacturing | Company: Rolls-Royce, UK.
Heating Element Design
CFD simulation of a large storage tank containing a highly viscous fluid with an aim of designing the most efficient heating element configuration in the tank through natural convection.
Sector: Oil&Gas | Company: Engie, UK.
Atrium Ventilation Design
Design and CFD modelling of the internal ventilation system of a large academic building in Manchester, where two novel atria were designed and tested, utilising innovative heat transfer concepts.
Sector: Building Services| Company: MMU Facilities, UK.
Domestic Heating Design
Simulation and design optimisation of an innovative device used to divert heat from radiators towards windows with an aim of reducing energy loss through the windows and removing condensation/mould by creating a thermal boundary layer.
Sector: Energy | Company: Thermocill, UK.
Urban Heat Island Effects
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects have been simulated using CFD and estimated for several different blocks in built areas and the environmental impact of these developments have been estimated.