Ventilation in the AUAS buildings

What is the HvA doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our buildings via virus particles in the air (aerosols)?

Coronavirus: extra focus on ventilation

We want everyone to be able to work and study safely in the HvA buildings. By paying extra attention to the ventilation in our buildings, we help prevent virus particles from spreading in the air.

The quality of indoor air partly determines the quality of our study and working environment. Therefore, in addition to the current extra attention for ventilation, we opt for a structural approach to assessing the air quality. Various factors play a role in this, including the age and use of a building and the way in which the indoor air circulates.

Facility Services has assessed all buildings

Rooms have been tested, following the ventilation guidelines of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Where the standards cannot be guaranteed, additional measures have been taken. Where necessary, information on how to use the room can be found at the door.

  • The safe rooms are open for use.
  • Things may have changed in some rooms, for example the maximum number of people that the room can accommodate. There are rooms in which only one person is currently allowed to work.
  • In some rooms, we are taking additional measures. This will always be indicated in the room or at the door.
  • Follow the advice about the windows: some windows should be kept closed, while others can be opened.
  • If the indoor air cannot recirculate safely, we have switched off the recirculation system. This means that it may be warmer or colder than usual.
  • Some rooms cannot be used because they do not have good ventilation.

How does ventilation work?

Ventilation is the constant renewal of the air (24 hours a day). The outside air always replaces part or all of the inside air that is polluted by moisture, gases and possible pathogens. Ventilation can take place in two ways:

  1. through natural ventilation: fresh air comes in from the outside through windows, grilles and gaps and doors, and the dirty air is extracted.
  2. via mechanical ventilation (ventilation system): fresh air enters from the outside via an air-treatment cabinet, and the dirty air is extracted.

Good ventilation ensures that aerosols (particles that may contain the coronavirus) are removed to a sufficient extent.

How does the recirculation of indoor air work?

In the case of the recirculation of indoor air, the air moves through a room or building without fresh air coming in from the outside. The RIVM distinguishes between two forms of recirculation:

1. from room to room – the air travels a relatively long distance through the building
In the HvA buildings, the central recirculation of the air-treatment system at building level is switched on. Research has shown that this does not pose a risk.
2. from person to person – the air travels a relatively short distance within a room
The HvA has buildings with this type of recirculation at room level.

  • The recirculation system is still on in some rooms. If we ventilate properly (i.e. let in enough clean outside air and properly extract the dirty air), this does not pose a risk.
  • If the recirculation cannot be used safely, we have switched it off or limited it. Although this may make it warmer or colder than you are used to, please note that the temperature does not mean anything about the ventilation. At the entrance to each room, we indicate how many people may be present in a room if the supply of fresh outside air is limited. If you stick to this maximum, the room will be properly ventilated and does not pose any risk.

Office spaces with natural ventilation

As a result of the eased restrictions, office spaces also will be used more intensively, even if we work in the office for a maximum of 50% of the time and there will be a lower occupancy rate. For good air quality, it is important to ventilate regularly by opening windows and doors. Do you have questions about the ventilation at your workplace? Please contact the FS Service Desk.

Frequently asked questions

Explanation by the safety adviser
In this video Ronald Reiche, Safety Advisor at Facility Services, answers a number of frequently asked questions about ventilation and coronavirus.

De Adviseur Veiligheid bij Facility Services behandelt een aantal veelgestelde vragen.

Is the ventilation in our buildings in order?

Yes.

  • In the older buildings, we sometimes have (partial) natural ventilation: fresh air comes in from the outside through windows, grilles and gaps and doors, and the dirty air is extracted.
  • In the more recent buildings, the fresh air comes in from the outside via an air-treatment cabinet. The dirty air is extracted.

We monitor whether we can achieve the minimum ventilation specified by the RIVM for all rooms. The ventilation is therefore in order, even in rooms in which you teach or give a tutorial.

Watch the video

It's stuffy and warm in here, is the ventilation still OK?

Sometimes the climate in a room might not feel pleasant, but ventilation and climate are different things. Ventilation involves the supply of fresh air and the removal of dirty air. In order to prevent air flows from circulating, we sometimes switch off the recirculation of the cooling in a room. As a result, the indoor climate deteriorates: it gets warm in the room and may feel stuffy. However, this does not mean that the ventilation is not in order.

Watch the video

I'm in a small room with a lot of students, is that safe?

It doesn't matter if you're in a large or small room. What counts is the number of people in the room relative to the ventilation. We have checked this in all the rooms.

As long as the number of people does not exceed the maximum number specified for the room in question, you can work there safely. Ronald Reiche, Safety Advisor at Facility Services, shows how this works in the video by means of two diagrams.

Watch the video

I can’t stay 1.5 metres away from the students.

If you are vulnerable, it is a good idea to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people. Ventilation does not have much influence on the particles in the air within 1.5 metres of someone; they can therefore cause exposure and transfer. Ronald Reiche, Safety Advisor at Facility Services, shows how this works in the video by means of an animation.
In addition to keeping your distance, you can also wear a face mask. Or ask students to also wear a face mask if they come within 1.5 metres of you.

Watch the video

Is it wise to open a window?

  • If we indicate at the entrance to the room that you can open the window, you can do so without any problems.
  • If nothing is indicated about windows, leave the window closed to avoid disrupting the ventilation system.

Watch the video

Can I use a table fan?

  • If you are alone in a room, you can certainly use a table fan.
  • If you are in a room with several other people, do not use a table fan. There is a chance that the air will flow from you to someone else, or vice versa.

Complaints or questions about ventilation?

Yout Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator can advise you on ventilation or climate and has more information about the climate control system for each room in each building.

For complaints pertaining to ventilation or in the event of a fault please get in touch with the FS Service Desk. We tackle ventilation problems with the highest priority.
T 020 595 1403
M servicedesk-fs@hva.nl
Notificatione form

Published by  Facility Services 18 February 2022