Building Filtration & Ventilation

Infrastructure & Sustainability (I&S) ensures that indoor environments are clean and safe.  

I&S continues to review and implement the latest recommendations made by ASHRAE, CDC and other industry leaders and is actively piloting and evaluating new technologies and products that promote indoor air quality.  I&S is also exploring how these efforts may both support and be supported by research efforts being conducted and considered on campus.

MAINTENANCE: Efforts include the evaluation and preventive maintenance of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in each building so they may provide a high degree of indoor air quality.  Each building’s system is unique but in general, we are ensuring these systems are operating at their peak condition and in conformance with campus and Board of Regents standards, as well as industry best practices.

FILTRATION & ULTRAVIOLET GERMICIDAL IRRADIATION: Georgia Tech’s design and construction campus standards currently require central station air handling equipment to utilize MERV 13 filters and UV lights for all new construction and major renovations.  Filters in older buildings are being upgraded to MERV 13 where the HVAC equipment allows. I&S has inventoried the air handling equipment in ALL buildings to ensure that filters are clean and UV lights operational.

VENTILATION: Ventilation rate is the rate that fresh air flows into a space. I&S is evaluating the ventilation rates and ability to modify these rates throughout campus. Where possible, ventilation rates will be increased ahead of the fall semester. All building central air handling equipment will operate 24/7.

PORTABLE MEASURES:  I&S in collaboration with professors from the Colleges of Sciences and Engineering determined portable air purifiers a reliable mitigation measure.  Ahead of the August 23, 2021 start of classroom instruction, more than 200 air purifiers were installed in centrally and departmentally scheduled classrooms. The air purifiers or "scrubbers" improve air quality by decreasing particle number and particle volume concentrations within a single room. The BreathSmart 75i HEPA Air Purifier, manufactured by Alen, uses an ozone-safe ionizer to attract particulate in the air.  This particulate is then captured in the HEPA filter thereby reducing the level of bacteria, allergens and virus in the air. BreathSmart 75i HEPA Air Purifier User Manual.

LABORATORIES:  Per BOR standards laboratories provide a minimum air change rate of 6 air changes per hour when occupied. Laboratory ventilation systems have and will continue to operate 24/7. The use of UV lights, continued operation of the HVAC systems and air change rate of 6 per hour are all consistent with the American Society for Heating and Ventilation Engineer’s (ASHRAE) recently published Position Document on Infectious Aerosols.