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REHVA published its first COVID-19 guidance mid-March 2020. After two updates (April and August), the fourth version is focusing on how to reopen and safely use buildings after the lockdown, providing advice on specific components, buildings/space types, and suggesting mitigation measures.

The REHVA guidance summarises advice on the operation and use of building service systems during an epidemic of a coronavirus disease. The fourth version of the guidance document overwrites all previous ones. Updates are expected in the upcoming months as more academic data becomes available.

Principal updates compared to the previous version

  • Extended ventilation operation time recommendation is complemented with possibility to switch ventilation off at nights and on weekends, applying also for the toilet ventilation
  • Recommendation to operate fan coils and split units according to cooling and heating needs
  • Advice to secure outdoor air ventilation and avoid directed air flows from one person to another
  • Precaution to avoid high air velocities (>0.3m/s) in the occupied zone
  • Introduction to an infection probability calculation method, supported by a ventilation calculation tool for implementing infection risk assessment in indoor spaces

Other Guidance documents

Technology Specific Guidance

  • Criteria for room air cleaners for particulate matter  - This document recommends criteria that would enable a safer and more effective operation of portable air cleaners and purifiers. The most important parameters envisaged are: noise, energy efficiency, clean air delivery rate (CADR), placement, service and maintenance, operation and generation of pollutants.

  • Limiting internal air leakages across the rotary heat exchanger - This specific guidance includes some precautionary measures to reduce internal air leakage in ventilation systems and prevent the transmission of the virus through particles suspended in the air.

Building/room Specific Guidance 

  • School buildings – The purpose of this guidance is to provide summarised advice on the operation and use of building services in schools, in on-technical language, targeting school principals, teachers and facility mangers. Updated version is online!
  • Download the Infographic here - [EN, RO]

  • Ventilation in patient rooms - This guidance provides reccomendations for ventilation of patient rooms. Patient rooms are divided into 3 different categories: normal areas/patient rooms; temporary areas/wards for patients with infectious diseases; isolation rooms with airborne infections.

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