Buildings Are Great at Spreading Viruses via New York Magazine

Breathe in and breathe out, Justin asks, and this is just the beginning, in regard to office buildings.  Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Justin Davidson wrote in a New York article That Office AC System Is Great — at Recirculating Viruses also asks, Can I trust the air?  Justin quotes from Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity where author Joseph Allen writes,  “Most buildings are maintained to minimum standards that aren’t set for health but for odor control.” And, “If an infected person introduces the virus into a space, then it’s there,” says Ray Quinn, a principal at the global engineering firm Arup. “No HVAC system can get rid of all your risk, so the best you can do is reduce it.  Read the article for other great insights except to leave you with this thought, MASS Design Group designed a hospital to fight indoor airborne diseases such as Legionnaires’ disease, mold and other inbred maladies with cross ventilation.  It is well-known that sunlight coming in the form of atrium buildings and outside air cross ventilation can improve air quality yet is comfortable to the tenants.  However, having to wear a “ski cap” or bring your own personal space heater is not uncommon in buildings which push out cool air to tenants and then add-in ceiling heaters to suit offices, meeting rooms and other areas. 

Buildings, especially large ones are designed with their own “climate” and not often to the comfort of the tenants.  What would Ron White say about that? Hard to say but “run Forrest run” comes to mind. Which is often why people who love working at home as they can control the temp to suit them along with lighting, bathrooms, coffee/food service, nap/yoga room and so much more.  Re-fitting buildings of any size, age, or designed-for is rather impossibly expensive if not impossible to do even if users, owners, architects, planners, construction, special needs, environmental, local government codes and tens of others who would have say in what would it take for safety, access and comfort. 



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