How the pandemic may alter air quality testing

After a global pandemic a lot of things are likely to change forever. In this case air quality requirements for construction are likely to ramp up. Research conducted on the COVID-19 virus has given us a better understanding of how ventilation can affect the disease spread.

While early research on Coronavirus uncovered evidence of how the virus could transfer by touch and how long it could live on surfaces, recent studies are focused on how the virus is transmitted through air particles. As a result, companies will be encouraged to improve on-site ventilation to improve air quality. Architects could also be required to design buildings with improved air filtration systems.

Improving air quality could help fight the spread of COVID-19

Coronavirus is mostly spread through droplets suspended in the air, called aerosols. When a person talks, coughs or exhales some of these droplets are distributed into the air. A building that has a very stagnant airflow system will create an area where it is easy for these droplets to remain and collect. Good ventilation can potentially slow the spread of disease by reducing the amount of contaminated air or removing them all together.

Air quality testing could become far more important

The most effective way to find out if a ventilation system is working well is with air quality testing. Construction companies use a variety of tests to estimate indoor air quality including non-dispersive infrared (NDIR), gas chromatography with thermal conductivity (GC/TC) or gas chromatography with mass-selective detectors (GC/MSD). These tests provide an in-depth analysis of indoor air quality. If such tests result in the unfavourable, building owners can take simple steps to improve on-site ventilation and filtration which are outlined here.

Due to the issue of coronavirus remaining even once vaccines are readily available, it may become more popular to design buildings with stronger air filtration systems that remove unclean air. Renovations can also assist in improving air quality within buildings that have been constructed with design oversights.

How indoor air quality may change

It is difficult to tell what the long-term impacts of COVID-19 will be but there is a lot of evidence that suggests our standards for cleanliness and public health will be heightened as we come through the pandemic.