COVID-19 and IEQ in the Built Environment

Written By: Jared Higgins, PE

Date: May 19, 2020

COVID-19 and IEQ in the Built Environment cover image

Jared Higgins is a Principal and Team Leader for Mechanical Engineering. He is a leader in both mechanical systems design and energy services, which includes energy modeling, building commissioning, and energy policy and codes.

Buildings have had a measured impact on occupant health for several decades. Depending on the infrastructure systems and operation of the building, the impact can be positive or negative. One of the biggest factors affecting health is indoor air quality.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a health epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), known to cause the disease COVID-19, on March 11, 2020. Research on commonly acquired viruses such as influenza, human coronavirus, and human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has shown that factors such as temperature and humidity can affect the transmission of the virus. Additional research has shown that ventilation systems can transfer contaminated particles within buildings.