As states across the nation begin to re-open during the pandemic, many news articles are asking, “Is it safe?” The CDC says the safest thing to do is stay home and isolate, but not every person or organization has that luxury. FSi, with decades of expertise in HVAC, can help you follow CDC and ASHRAE recommendations, giving you safer buildings with improved air quality through optimized filtration and air changes.
We are all navigating hazards unknown to most living Americans, and are seeking new, safer ways of going about our daily lives. Clients have asked us to assess their facilities, and advise on cost-effective upgrades to reduce risk of exposure to airborne pathogens for staff, visitors, and other building occupants. We also spent many hours analyzing our Seattle office, its unusual Smith Tower floor plan, intra-office traffic patterns, and ventilation systems. We used the latest research on mitigating virus transmissions and decreasing airborne pathogens, and applied state guidelines for reopening. We gained insight into the complexities of this process and want to share our expertise with you.
We value our community, and the health of the people in it, so we streamlined the process to create affordable service packages to help your business or agency implement ASHRAE’s guidelines to reduce airborne viral particulate, with effective and cost-wise measures for your greater peace of mind.
Real World Experience
FSi Engineers has decades of experience creating precisely controlled climates, designing spaces for infection control, expertise with state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) airflow modeling software, and computer modeling of pathogens, aerosols, and particulates as they travel through indoor air. Our staff has researched the best options and implemented upgrades to address risks created raised by the novel coronavirus and C19 pandemic.
FSi Seattle Office Reopening
We used our years of collective experience to put together a seating plan for Washington State’s Phase 2, 25% occupancy. We made sure desks were well over six feet apart, and no one sat in heavily trafficked areas. It was a solid plan, created with caution and knowledge of airflows. Being engineers, we ran a CFD simulation to double-check our work, we found more nuanced desk placements and rearranged our work stations to provide even greater safety for our staff. Our seating plans and requirements of staff were also based on models using the Fate and Transport of Indoor Microbiological Aerosols (FaTIMA) tool developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the Department of Commerce, to determine how aerosols might move around our office. As we progress through the stages of opening, we will perform additional analyses to find the best ways to take advantage of filtration and airflow as more people return to the office.
King County // Regional Justice Center
As a part of the County’s COVID-19 mitigation programs, FSi performed an analysis of the 600,000 sf multi-purpose regional complex. The complex has numerous functions and 24/7 operations with detention facilities, courtrooms, sheriffs’ offices, and administrative functions. The buildings have 32 air handling units (AHUs), 17 rooftop heat recovery units, and 11 built-up AHUs.
FSi’s engineering team looked at each piece of equipment to determine the maximum filtration the system can support, and additional cost and maintenance required, as the more efficient filters would require more frequent replacement. We also determined the air change rate the system can support, and the energy impact of increasing the number of air changes per hour (ACH). Based on the analyses, we worked with the County to determine the optimal mix of measures that both improve health and safety, while allowing for implementation by facilities and maintenance staff, and cost-effective building operation.
Children’s Hospital // Odessa Brown Pediatric Clinic
FSi is the mechanical engineer for Children’s Hospital’s new Odessa Brown Clinic. FSi completed the design for the new facility to meet all applicable codes, including infection control. When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in 2020, we worked with the owner to assess additional measures beyond code requirements, to improve the level of infection control, including increased filtration and ACH.
Choose the services you need
We offer a suite of choices to fit your circumstances and your budget, including these services:
Basic Package: HVAC optimization This package provides you with the basics to implement ASHRAE’s recommendations. We conduct a detailed site inspection, evaluate your HVAC systems, outside air, and air change rates. We’ll determine your maximum filtration capacity – the number one way to capture and remove airborne pathogens. Your report includes a guide that can be used by maintenance staff or HVAC contractors as they implement the recommendations.
Airflow modeling: Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, we will evaluate air movement in your office, and recommend workstation placement for each stage of reopening.
Aerosol analysis: Using the Fate and Transport of Indoor Microbiological Aerosols (FaTIMA) tool developed by the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), our engineers will analyze your space for the spread of aerosols, the primary means of COVID19 transmission according to the CDC.
Expert presentation with Q&A Up to two hours of video conference time with one of our engineers to explain our report and answer questions from stakeholders, department heads, or maintenance staff.
Contact us to learn more // 206.385-6144 // COVID19@FSi-Engineers.com