Bringing America back to work and restarting the economy will take planning and vision.
Any movement in the direction toward reentering and repopulating buildings, businesses, and transportation systems must follow the health and safety guidelines set forth by science and data, the federal government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization.
On May 7, the National Institute of Building Sciences hosted its first in a series of COVID-19 virtual town halls aimed at placing subject matter experts before a wide audience of built environment professionals. Our panel included Henry H. Chamberlin, President & Chief Operating Officer, Building Owners & Managers Association; Daniel Nichols, Assistant Director of Fire/Life Safety, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Metro-North Railroad; Pete DeMarco, Executive Vice President of Advocacy & Research, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Thomas H. Phoenix, Principal, CPL Architects & Engineers, PC; Treasurer, NIBS Board of Directors; Fellow, ASHRAE. The town hall was moderated by Carl Hedde, Head of Insurance Practice, One Concern and Chair of the NIBS Board of Directors.
Some of the key takeaways include:
- Proper hygiene and handwashing, social distancing, and face coverings in public areas remain critical. Office seating density must be thinned out.
- Elevators should not exceed more than 4 people at a time, depending on the size of the elevator cab.
- Companies should perform an audit of the HVAC system, making improvements where necessary. If possible, increase outdoor air ventilation and reduce recycled air flow.
- Buildings that have sat empty must flush stagnant water and replace it with fresh utility water.
- When it comes to transportation and transit systems, cleaning must be accomplished in concert with disinfection. Social distancing and face coverings remain the best ways to avoid virus transfer.
We had more than 1,800 registrants for the first town hall. In case you missed it, and you’d like to hear the discussion, view the full recording and session notes here.
Our goal is to share as much information as possible so decision-makers and government officials can safely reopen the economy and nation’s business community.
The next town hall is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19.
Want to learn more? NIBS has launched a Building Industry COVID-19 Resource Hub on the WBDG site. Visit https://www.wbdg.org/industry-news. Let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.