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Back to Pratt: What measures is Pratt taking to improve the indoor air quality and circulation in its campus buildings?


The Office of Facilities Management is carefully following guidelines developed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to improve the indoor air quality and circulation across campus.

The department has completed inspections and maintenance for all HVAC systems and ventilation fans to ensure their proper function and operation.

In buildings and spaces that have mechanical ventilation (HVAC), the amount of outside air introduced into the building is being maximized. Within the existing design, air filtration has been increased within the buildings with the installation of higher-density filters. In addition to these measures, engineering controls (for example, UV-C light, bipolar ionization, and ionized hydrogen peroxide) have been installed into the air-handling units for additional disinfection.

In buildings and spaces without HVAC, exhaust fans have been added to ensure the air changes in rooms are at a minimum of six times per hour. Single occupancy spaces such as individual offices do not require additional exhaust.

In all spaces with exhaust fans, the fans should be turned on (making sure that the fans are set to exhaust the space) at the beginning of a class and the door should be left open 6 to 8 inches to provide airflow and circulation.

Refer to the signs that are posted in all rooms for proper operation of the exhaust fans. Window exhaust fans operate best when the posted instructions are followed.

Locations with HEPA units should have these on when the room is occupied. The units should be placed near the center of the room whenever a space is occupied by more than one individual.

It is not required to open the window to properly exhaust the room. If a space is too cold, please contact the Office of Facilities Management: 718.636.3579 and for the Brooklyn campus; or 212.647.7422 and for the Manhattan campus. Facilities will inspect the room to see if there is anything that can be done to help improve the temperature. Please remember that the air changes take precedence.