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Over the past several months we have been engaging in conversations about best practices in maintaining buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to open a discussion by sharing some of the helpful tips and resources we have compiled with the help of the BOC Certification Advisory Commission, and we want to hear from you. What other tips and resources have you found helpful? What solutions have you found to building operations and maintenance issues during the pandemic? Please send us your tips, resources, and stories and we will add to the list!

The following are recommended steps building operators can take to prepare buildings for re-entry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note this is not a comprehensive list.

  • Preventive maintenance still needs to be completed.
  • Rethink how your janitorial cleaning should be changed.
  • Clean all evaporator coils and apply recommended product.
  • Slowly rotate your mechanical equipment for off/on schedule.
  • Most systems have likely been stressed due to low load conditions and will need to be serviced.
  • Flush your building or purge the air on a regular schedule.
  • Increase outdoor air intake if possible, follow regional guidelines and recommendations.
  • Check all P traps, most have probably lost their seal.
  • Check your roof drains and roof for any damage.
  • Schedule appointments with your vendors, and practice social distancing recommendations.

For guidance on COVID-19 disinfectants, please consult the list of recommend EPA-registered disinfectants: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2-covid-19 and follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend:

  • Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label).
  • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Helpful facility-related COVID-19 resources:

  1. CDC on Legionella: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html
  2. EPA on system flushing: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-09/documents/flushing_best_practices_factsheet_508.pdf
  3. ASHRAE on Legionella: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/bookstore/ansi-ashrae-standard-188-2018-legionellosis-risk-management-for-building-water-systems
  4. ASHRAE on HVAC disinfection and filtration: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/filtration-disinfection
  5. IFMA on facility planning, strategic framework: http://community.ifma.org/knowledge_library/m/free_fm_content/1058168
  6. Taylor Engineering COVID-19 White Paper: https://taylorengineers.com/taylor-engineering-covid-19-whitepaper

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