COVID-19 Building Services Resources

A.G. Coombs Group – Supporting Construction, Maintaining Critical Facilities

This COVID-19 resource page has been developed to provide useful and credible building services information to building owners and managers.

A.G. Coombs Group companies are working with our clients, service providers and suppliers to ensure that we continue to deliver our services safely and effectively. We are continually monitoring the situation around COVID-19, have a resilient Business Continuity Plan in place to ensuring that we continue to operate effectively and closely managing our organisation to assure the wellbeing of our personnel and service providers.

The A.G. Coombs Group assures you of our continued focus, capability and support for construction projects and in the operation and maintenance of facilities.

Key COVID-19 Building Services Questions

Aerosol transmission has emerged as a viable COVID-19 infection mechanism – very small particles carrying the virus – emitted by infected people breathing – hanging in the air possibly for hours – being pushed around by air flows in rooms – potentially being drawn into recirculating HVAC systems – possibly being reintroduced into occupied areas.
See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; Modifying HVAC Systems to Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission

Published research on healthcare ventilation systems and scenarios suggests that the transmission of droplets containing viral material is possible in these situations. It is thought to be less likely in a well-designed and properly maintained typical HVAC system in a public setting.

See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; HVAC and COVID-19 →

Humidity levels in indoor environments can play a key role in infection control.  Modifications to existing HVAC systems can be made to improve the ability to regulate the space humidity.

See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; Humidity Control – Using HVAC to Help Reduce Infection Spread →

NABERS have released information to assessors and building owners on how NABERS ratings will be affected by COVID-19. This has been developed into a readily accessible FAQ format to assist building owners, facility managers and NABERS Assessors. 

See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; NABERS and COVID-19 →

Appropriate use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in HVAC systems has been proven as an effective inactivation method for mould, bacteria and viruses, reducing the source of Healthcare-Associated Infections and a reduction of airborne microorganisms. This Advisory Note provides a basic understanding of UVGI and its applications.

See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for HVAC Applications

During the COVID-19 situation buildings experienced significantly reduced occupancy with some being completely vacated. Building services systems have seen reduced operation and some have been turned off. Ramping up or starting systems after a protracted shut down, especially those that are large, complex and interdependent, requires care.
See A.G. Coombs Advisory

Note; Returning to Operation from COVID-19

With the return of people to buildings after the COVID19 period, a new way of thinking will need to be adopted to ensure building access control systems align to occupant health while continuing to maintain building security. Adaptations and enhancements to security technology will play a key role in how we maintain and manage the balance between a safe and healthy environment and still maintaining a secure building.


See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; Post COVID-19 Occupant Access and Building Security

Completely shutting down mechanical and HVAC, fire protection and electrical systems for a protracted period and then restarting, particularly large and complex systems, can cause a number of serious problems. The cost and implications of shutting down and starting up may outweigh any advantages.

See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; Building Services Operation & Maintenance in COVID-19 →

Many buildings are experiencing significantly reduced occupancy in the COVID-19 situation and building operators are seeking opportunities to reduce costs during this period. Reducing operation or shutting down HVAC systems is an option that can be considered. Many HVAC systems rely upon Cooling Tower Systems for heat rejection. There are strict regulatory requirements for the ownership and operation of Cooling Tower Systems throughout Australia to project protect public health from the risk of Legionnaires Disease. Completely shutting down mechanical and HVAC systems including Cooling Tower Systems for a protracted period and then restarting, particularly large and complex systems, can cause a number of serious problems. The cost and implications of shutting down and starting up may outweigh any advantages. It is important that the management and operation of cooling towers be carefully considered as a part of an overall in any change of HVAC system strategic plan. 

See A.G. Coombs Advisory Note; Cooling Tower Operation & COVID-19 →

Advisory Notes

ADVISORY NOTE – NEW

Modifying HVAC Systems to Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission

Aerosol transmission has emerged as a viable COVID-19 infection mechanism – very small particles carrying the virus – emitted by infected people breathing – hanging in the air possibly for hours…

ADVISORY NOTE 

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for HVAC Applications

Appropriate use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in HVAC systems has been proven as an effective inactivation method for mould, bacteria and viruses, reducing the source of Healthcare Associated Infections and…

ADVISORY NOTE

Post COVID-19 Occupant Access and Building Security

With the return of people to buildings after the COVID19 period, a new way of thinking will need to be adopted to ensure building access control systems align to occupant health while continuing to maintain building security. 

ADVISORY NOTE 

Returning to Operation from COVID-19

During the COVID-19 situation buildings experienced significantly reduced occupancy with some being completely vacated. Building services systems have seen reduced operation and some have been…

ADVISORY NOTE

Building Services Operation & Maintenance in COVID-19

In the COVID-19 situation many buildings are experiencing significantly reduced occupancy and in some instances being vacated. Building owners are…

ADVISORY NOTE 

NABERS & COVID-19 | Updated June 2020

NABERS have released information to assessors and building owners on how NABERS ratings will be affected by COVID-19. We have developed this information into a readily accessible FAQ format to assist…

ADVISORY NOTE

Humidity Control – Using HVAC to Help Reduce Infection Spread

COVID-19’s substantial impact on our lives has caused us to reconsider how building HVAC systems can assist reduce airborne transmission of viruses…

ADVISORY NOTE

Cooling Tower Operation & COVID-19

Many buildings are experiencing significantly reduced occupancy in the COVID-19 situation and building operators are seeking opportunities to minimise costs during this period…

ADVISORY NOTE

HVAC and COVID-19

There is considerable interest in the role that HVAC may play in the transmission of COVID-19. This Advisory Note provides an overview on viral transmission, how HVAC systems work, and the practical…

FEATURE ARTICLE

Aerosol transmission has emerged as a viable COVID-19 infection mechanism – very small particles carrying the virus – emitted by infected people breathing – hanging in the air possibly for hours – being pushed around by air flows in rooms – potentially being drawn into recirculating HVAC systems – possibly being reintroduced into occupied areas.

Looking after your Mental Health

Mental Health and COVID-19

Discussions and concerns around the coronavirus outbreak and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions, such as stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, or low mood. Many people feel distressed by the constant news and overwhelming amount of information about the situation. 

Source: Australian Government: Department of Health

Simple steps to
help stop the spread

Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

Social Distancing

Practise physical distancing. Where possible, stay 1.5m apart.

Self Isolation

Stay at home and self-isolate if you are unwell.

COVIDSafe App

Download the COVIDSafe App on your mobile device.

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