Resource Center: Building Operations During COVID-19

Rapidly evolving factors of COVID-19 create an unprecedented scenario for building owners, plant managers, and employees. Better Buildings will continue to bring together building experts and partners to discuss and provide updates on relevant resources, research and technologies. As building owners and operators adapt to changing demands, the following resources from Better Buildings partners, affiliates, and other organizations provide information and strategies for building operations and maintenance. These resources are cultivated to help identify best practices and are intended to help you make better decisions for your organization.

Resources are sorted by technology type; explore each below:

Energy ImplicationsVentilation, Filtration, and other HVACWaste Systems and PlumbingVirtual events and webinars
 

All Resource Guides

Click MORE to view all general COVID-19 resource guides.

ASHRAE Resources
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers
Resource Hub
This resource hub is a one-stop resource for all of ASHRAE's guidance on reopening, buildings, filtration & disinfection, and transportation.


Energy Implications

Click MORE to view all energy resources.

Optimizing Sustainability & Wellness: A Guide for Managing Office Buildings During COVID-19
Institute for Market Transformation
Guidance Document
Checklists for increasing occupant health, reducing energy and operations expenses, expanding future opportunities, and increasing building performance.

COVID-19 White Paper
Taylor Engineering
Guidance Document
Discusses the effectiveness and energy impacts of HVAC transmission mitigation strategies.

Better Buildings Fact Sheets by Sector
U.S. Department of Energy
Guidance Documents
Better Buildings' fact sheets for hospitality, commercial buildings, retail, and grocery for building operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ventilation, Filtration, and other HVAC

Click MORE to view all HVAC resources.

ASHRAE Resources
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers
Resource Hub
This resource hub is a one-stop resource for all of ASHRAE's guidance on reopening, buildings, filtration & disinfection, and transportation. Press MORE to see additional ASHRAE resources such as sector-specific guidance and best practices for re-opening buildings.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Air Filtration Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
National Air Filtration Association
Guidance Document
FAQs on building filtration, including filter ratings, UV lamps, air purification, and portable filtration systems.

COVID-19: FAQ for Residential Buildings
New York City Health
Guidance Document
New York City's guidance document for operators of residential buildings.

COVID-19 Guidance Directory
REHVA Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations
Resource Hub
Visit this resource center for courses, webinars, guidance documents, and a calculator to estimate the effect of ventilation on COVID-19 airborne transmission.

COVID-19 White Paper
Taylor Engineering
Guidance Document
Discusses the effectiveness and energy impacts of HVAC transmission mitigation strategies.

Improving Indoor Air Quality in California Schools
UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center
Guidance Document
Guidance for ventilation and filtration in educational facilities.

Potential application of air-cleaning devices and personal decontamination to manage transmission of COVID-19
United Kingdom Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies
Guidance Document
Discusses potential application of air-cleaning devices to reduce coronavirus transmission.

Better Buildings Factsheets by Sector
U.S. Department of Energy
Guidance Documents
Better Buildings' fact sheets for hospitality, commercial buildings, retail, and grocery for building operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Waste Systems and Plumbing

Click MORE for all waste system and plumbing resources.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
American Water Works Association
Resource Hub
AWWA's resources for reducing risks from water stagnation in under-occupied buildings.

ASHRAE Guidelines and Standards
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers
Guidance Document
ASHRAE's general guidance for reducing Legionella risks on building water systems. See an additional ASHRAE resource on standards for reducing Legionella risks on building water systems below.

Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Guidance Document
CDC's guidance to reduce the risks of mold, legionella, and lead and copper contamination after temporary shutdowns of buildings.

Information on Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Guidance Document
EPA's guidance for reducing risks associated with water stagnation in under-occupied buildings.


COVID-19 VIRTUAL EVENTS AND WEBINARS

The webinars below brought together building experts and partners who discussed and provided updates on relevant resources, research and technologies.

 

Recorded Webinars:

Press MORE below to see all previously recorded webinars on COVID-19.

Office Buildings and Ventilation: How COVID-19 and Other Pathogens Spread Between Zones
This webinar discussed the effect of ventilation rates on the concentration and spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens within office buildings, as well as the energy implications of the ventilation strategies addressed.
 

Monitoring Healthy Buildings: Using EMIS to Identify Issues with Ventilation, Air Quality, and Thermal Health
In this presentation, The Better Buildings EMIS Tech Team clarified opportunities for monitoring and analytics to identify areas that need attention, from fresh air delivery and airborne contaminants to comfort metrics.
 

Navigating Air Purification Technologies during COVID
The pandemic increased interest in novel technologies, such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) and bi-polar ionization. What factors should you consider when exploring these technologies as part of a building operations reopening plan? Speakers highlighted proven and impactful strategies for safe reopening without compromising energy efficiency.
Minimizing Infectious Disease Spread in Buildings: How HVAC Guidance has Evolved
Guidance on how to best manage HVAC systems to minimize the spread of infectious diseases has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. William Bahnfleth revisited his previous presentation on Managing HVAC Systems to Reduce Infectious Disease Transmission and discussed what has changed since May.

Fault Detection and Diagnostics in the Age of COVID-19
Fault detection and diagnostics is the process of using building operational data to identify system and equipment faults and optimization opportunities by using algorithms specific to the building systems. What strategies can be applied to support a healthy efficient building operation under “pandemic-mode” & what are the consequences?

Learning From Building Operations During COVID-19
As the pandemic continues to evolve, building managers are considering modifying building operations to minimize the risk of disease transmission. This discussion provided updates on relevant outcomes in research, highlighted sanitation best practices, and identified investments that can enhance energy efficiency to produce healthier buildings.

Better Plants Online Learning Series: Energy Management During a Pandemic
The pandemic has had wide-ranging impacts on how we manage energy, find opportunities and implement projects. This webinar highlighted how various companies are strategically modifying their industrial energy management programs and systems to be successful going forward.

Building-to-Grid Integration in the Context of COVID
The Better Buildings Alliance Renewables Integration Team focused its team call on building-to-grid integration in the context of COVID and how the pandemic is accelerating the transition to grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs).
 

Getting Ready for Re-opening: Commissioning Experts Discuss Essential System Checks
Commissioning experts Geremy Wolff and Jesse Sycuro of McKinstry discussed recent activity and lessons learned from the buildings they are helping to re-open.
 

Lighting & Electrical Technology Research Team Webinar – Germicidal UV Lighting
UV lighting has become a hot topic with the pandemic as a means to disinfect buildings and surfaces from viruses and bacteria. Mark Lien, Industry Relations Manager of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), presented on germicidal ultraviolet (UV) lighting.

Managing Buildings During a Shutdown and Bringing Them Back Online
In this presentation, the speakers discussed their experiences reoccupying buildings with attention to climate considerations and building use.

 

Managing HVAC Systems to Reduce Infectious Disease Transmission
Dr. William Bahnfleth provided a critical review of guidance published by ASHRAE and other built environment organizations and discussed their relationship to recommendations of science and health-focused organizations like the WHO. Dr. Bahnfleth also shared expert insight based on the best research for operations to help mitigate risks.


Featured Blogs on COVID-19:

Visit the Beat Blog to learn more about how Better Buildings Partners are approaching COVID-19 safety.

The Better Buildings Webinar Series

Dedicated to bringing you the latest actionable insights on today's energy efficiency landscape, the webinar series is a chance to explore the topics and trends that affect your organization with industry experts and your peers.

On-Demand Webinars

Watch all previously recorded webinars in the On-Demand Webinars library sorted by popular topics such as resilience, zero energy buildings, and more.

Explore Technology Research Teams

 Experts from DOE's National Labs analyze the latest research and development on a range of building technologies with the goal of providing market-ready solutions to partners.