IAQ Radio - Episode 586 Blog - Bill Bahnfleth, PhD, PE – Penn State Professor & ASHRAE Past President on Mechanical Systems and COVID-19

ASHRAE Pandemic Task Force, Mechanical Systems and Covid19

Bill Bahnfleth, PhD, PE is a professor at Penn State University, a past president of ASHRAE and chairman of the ASHRAE Pandemic Task Force.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

Dr. Bahnfleth learned about Covid19 in March 2020 while in Mexico on a school trip when there were only 1500 known infections in the US.

Center County, PA where PSU is located has fewer than 100 cases of Covid19. PSU has a diverse building stock ranging from brand new buildings to some over 100 years old. PSU’s building stock relies upon a variety of different heating and cooling systems.

Like many other colleges and universities, Penn State did the maintenance which was necessary and deferred some of the remaining.

PSU has a student body of 45K-50K. How to handle education delivery in the fall remains an ambiguous situation?

PSU’s facilities staff are relying upon Bill for Covid19 compliance guidance.

ASHRAE is providing important information on Covid19 at no charge.

ASHRAE formed a task force to provide Covid19 mitigation guidance and asked Bill to chair it. Over a 15-18 month period, the task force will work on: dealing with the first Covid19 wave, preparing for the next Covid19 wave and thinking about future needs.  https://www.ashrae.org/about/news/2020/ashrae-epidemic-task-force-established

ASHRAE has 57K members and 100s of technical committees. There are 17 members on the task force. An additional 120 people are working on current teams. ASHRAE, is working with other groups (e.g. BOMA, AIA). It’s a huge investment of time.

  • Communications and advocacy at federal, state, local level.
  • Literature review
  • Filtration & disinfection
  • Building readiness (healthcare, long term healthcare, residential, commercial, schools, transportation & assembly)

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