Technical Seminar on Ventilation and Building Air Disinfection Strategies Against Aerosol and Airborne Transmissible Diseases
By Ir CHENG Wing Ho, Franky and Ir LEUNG Suk Yan, Sally
The Building Services Division and BSOMES co-organized a “Technical Seminar on Ventilation and Building Air Disinfection Strategies Against Aerosol and Airborne Transmissible Diseases” through zoom webinar on 2 December 2020 with the Guest Speaker Dr. Roger SZE TO, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Aurabeat Technology as guest speaker. The objectives of the seminar were to elaborate how aerosol and airborne transmissible diseases that were closely related to air movement and ventilation.
Like typical airborne particles, viral aerosols follow same physical mechanisms in their transportation and removal. In the seminar, Roger explained challenges of risk mitigation and prevention of disease transmission in aerosol and airborne routes. He presented a simple pollutant mass (quantity) balancing model used to evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of different ventilation and building air disinfection strategies against aerosol and airborne transmissible diseases. Roger evaluated options including: Increase ventilation rate; Increase return air flow rate; Improve filter efficiency in ventilation system; Use of UV light; Emission of disinfectant; and Air purifier with effective filter. He further explained some misunderstandings on air filtration and misuse of HEPA filter scenarios. Roger also emphasized the importance of using antiviral air filter. Studies shown that COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on objects for up to 28 days. Virus could accumulate on air filter in tremendous quantity, if the air filter was not replaced professionally with medical grade equipment, many of the accumulated virus could re-enter the air, putting workers and occupants at risk. An effective antiviral air filter could eliminate virus captured and greatly mitigate the risk during filter replacement. Roger concluded by presenting research findings on using mask to greatly reduce the quantity of aerosols generated by coughing and sneezing. Wearing mask not only demonstrates an effective source control measure as a filter, but also serves as the last defense against infectious aerosols.
The seminar ended with a Q&A session. It was an inspiring sharing for engineers to equip more knowledge on ventilation and building air disinfection strategies against aerosol and airborne transmission diseases. We would like to express our sincere thanks to speaker and participants for this successful event.