People spend a majority of their time in enclosed spaces, and poorly ventilated spaces are linked to several health and wellness ailment and increased absences in employees. Research has shown that increased ventilation in a building can reduce the change of influenza. In a 2019 study, it showed that providing even minimum levels of outdoor air ventilation reduced influenza transmission as much as 50%-60% of the people in the building being vaccinated.
- For more information:WELL Health-Safety Rating
Treatment of indoor air through air filtration with HEPA or near-HEPA filters and Ultra-violet Germicidal irradiation (UVGI) helps remove and irradiate virus particulates as well as other compounds.
Basic management for water quality ensure that water quality is maintained.
NIH Office of Research Facilities (ORF) assessed all HVAC units in occupied buildings for their current outdoor air supply. All of building 101 modules C, D, E and F are already 100% single pass outside air. All other air systems on campus were evaluated for increases in outside air supply, and were modified to a minimum of 30% outside air, if the mechanical systems and thermal comfort of the occupants allowed. Keystone was increased to 40% outside air as well.
Assess & Maintain Air Treatment Systems
NIH Office of Research Facilities (ORF) maintains all air treatment systems and devices on campus. Approximately 96% of all campus buildings have fresh air filtered through a MERV 13 filter and 80% have UVGI systems. Preventative maintenance tasks for filter replacements are based on pressure drop across the filter ensuring heavily loaded filters are changed to maximize filtration.
Develop Legionella Management Plan
NIH Office of Research Facilities (ORF) maintains a Legionella Management Plan for water systems on campus that maintain a temperature under 120-140 degrees F. A risk assessment preformed indicates that there is very little risk of legionella contamination on campus. Slim risks exists from stagnation of water in showerheads and hand washing facilities after weekend recesses and cooling tower drift to nearby campus buildings. To mitigate these risks ORF preforms monitoring actions on these systems.
Monitor Air & Water Quality
NIEHS performs air monitoring based on risk and complaints. Risk monitoring occurs when activities are performed which have the potential to adversely effect air quality, such as construction work. Complain monitoring is performed as a result of an individual complaint or suspected occupational injury or illness.
NIEHS receives all its drinking water from Durham County. NIEHS performs sampling of the drinking water for a variety of constituents as needed to support facility improvement or to response to a complaint.
Manage Mold & Moisture
NIH Office of Research Facilities (ORF) inspects the building and premises twice daily as part of the 24-hour building operators shift round inspections. The building and its premises are inspected for mold and moisture including water damage, pooling, discoloration, mold on ceilings, walls, floors and HVAC equipment. Mechanical spaces have piping inspected for leaks as well. The high quantities of outside air along with the high efficiency filtration and UVGI work to manage mold, mildew and moisture.
These inspections are documented in the maintenance management software. If any of the monitoring points for these inspections are marked yes, it will trigger a work order and mold testing, remediation will take place.
Additionally building occupants can report mold or moisture using the work order system accessible through the NIEHS Junction website.
- WELL Health-Safety Rating. [Full Text WELL Health-Safety Rating.]