Motivation: Protect occupant health and safety
Social/Environmental Benefits: Improve indoor air quality, improve occupant health, increase productivity
Project Team: Christopher Hill, Vice President of Operations at Point Park University; Joe Burgunder, Mid-Atlantic Services Team Leader, TRANE
Point Park University (PPU) responded to COVID-19 by moving to online education and establishing a task force to develop appropriate responses to the emergency. Because the University’s vision includes an intense focus on student success through experiential learning, it was imperative that PPU chart a path toward in-person instruction that prioritized the health and safety of its faculty, staff, and 4,000 students. PPU partnered with TRANE to better understand how the virus spreads through buildings and to provide indoor air quality solutions based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and ASHRAE. PPU followed TRANE’s 3-step framework to assess, mitigate, and manage indoor air quality.
Assessment of the current condition focused on four pillars:
- Dilute: Increasing outdoor air
- Exhaust: Exhausting indoor air
- Contain: Maintaining indoor humidity
- Clean: Safely cleaning HVAC systems
The IAQ Assessment developed a baseline condition of damper position, airflow, fan speed, temperature, humidity, pressure, occupancy schedules, and return CO2 from which to model and measure recommended interventions.
TRANE recommended diluting and exhausting indoor air by adjusting the economizer and demand control ventilation setpoints. TRANE also recommended increasing filtration to MERV-13 and monitoring temperature, pressure, and humidity for occupant comfort.
To manage energy use, PPU modified occupancy schedules, adjusted economizer operation and humidity control sequences, and performed regular monitoring of system performance.
[This case study is an excerpt from the Pittsburgh 2030 District 2020 Progress Report, released May 20th, 2021.]