Controling the Spread of Infectious Diseases in Educational Building


How the Right Air Conditioning in Florida Universities Can Help Prevent the Flu.  –


In 2004 Dr. Mark Mendell published a study in the Journal of Epidemiology contending that people who spend a lot of time in air conditioned buildings have more health problems such as breathing difficulties, skin irritations, headaches and exhaustion. The study targeted poor air conditioning ventilation, which trapped bacteria and germs then disseminated them throughout the building.

Wet ceilings and walls due to humidity levels found in many South Florida universities can also become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold when the air conditioning system malfunctions.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges that the notion of a “sick building syndrome” exists when the air conditioning system attracts pollutants and fails to effectively disseminate good quality air throughout the room.

The best way to combat “sick building syndrome” at colleges and universities throughout South Florida is to install a multi-parameter demand control ventilation air conditioning system. This advanced technology automatically senses pollutants in the building. The sensor analysis then informs your university building ventilation controls so that ventilation rates can be optimized based on actually indoor environment. This system can reduce airborne viral and bacteria sensor counts by 90% in addition to identifying non-human pollutants.

Look for a Florida air conditioning contractor that offers the most innovative IAQ Solutions

To effectively stay ahead of flu season, universities must analyze their current air conditioning system to determine its indoor air quality (IAQ) effectiveness. A Florida air conditioning contractor can examine several areas of your system using one of these methods:

• Vacuum pump—examine the filtration and airborne particle detection ability
• Direct-reading Meter—determine the sensitivity level of detection qualities
• Detector Tube Kit—hand pump that draws air which reacts with chemical compounds
• Personal Monitoring Devices—measures the level of contaminant exposure to specific chemicals and pollutants

Detecting trouble with an existing system may identify the problem, however only a highly skilled Florida air conditioning contractor can remedy your university’s air conditioning issues.

Look for an air conditioning contractor that offers the latest IAQ technology such as ventilation management and control systems. This type of system can detect and filter pollutants such as volatile organic compounds, respiratory-sized particles and carbon monoxide. Once detected, containments are diluted by fresh air which reduces the likelihood of infection and disease.

Why You Should Choose a Florida LEED Certified Company

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification supports and encourages green building development practices, which contribute toward energy efficiency, environmental protection, health and sustainability. Demand controlled ventilation systems are a pathway toward becoming LEED certified in Florida.

Installing a LEED certified air conditioning system in your Florida university can not only contribute toward the health and well being of students and faculty, but becoming LEED certified also provides money saving credits. Specific criteria must be met in order to ensure your retrofit or new construction project is given the LEED seal.

Before you seek Florida LEED certification ensure you are working with a trusted LEED certified HVAC company:

• Look for a Florida HVAC company that hires LEED accredited professionals on staff, including a LEED Charrette Facilitator.
• Ask the HVAC consultant about partnerships with other LEED contractors and consultants, which contribute toward a more efficient and complete job.
• Inquire about the company’s tenure in the Florida area; the number of LEED based jobs completed and typical job turnaround times.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 22 million sick days can be attributed to the common cold with even more due to influenza and the H1N1 virus. Most colleges and universities follow a common sense approach to thwarting the spread of infectious disease like encouraging hand washing, making hand sanitizers easily accessible and recommending sick students stay home. More and more universities are also installing multi-parameter demand control ventilation air conditioning systems to further protect students from the spread of infectious disease.

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