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

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 →

Building regulations in all States and Territories require regular and ongoing maintenance and inspection of the building services identified as required for the safe operation of the building in a fire event.

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

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 →

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!

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

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…

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

NABERS & COVID-19

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…

FEATURE ARTICLE

In the COVID-19 situation many buildings are experiencing significantly reduced occupancy and in some instances being vacated. Building owners are questioning; can the HVAC systems run at reduced levels or be shut down for an extended period to save running costs? Can Mechanical, Fire services and Electrical maintenance be reduced or stopped? How to keep buildings compliant? What are the important issues to consider and what should be done?

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

Help Stop the Spread

Wash Your Hands

Washing hands frequently, covering coughs, putting tissues straight into a bin, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, cleaning regularly used objects and surfaces and ventilating their home or workspace.

Social Distancing

One way to slow the spread of viruses, such as coronavirus, is social distancing (also called physical distancing). The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Public Gatherings

Public gatherings significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading. On 29 March the National Cabinet agreed to further limit most indoor and outdoor non-essential gathering to 2 people.

Self Isolation

Means you must stay home for 14 days. You must self-isolate if you have COVID-19, or you have been in close contact with a confirmed case, or you arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.

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