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What you need to know about HVAC on campus

  • Health and Wellness
  • Our City/Our Campus
  • Covid-19

As in-person learning begins across the Pittsburgh campus this week, one thing that might be top of mind is how clean the air inside campus buildings is. Thanks to the facilities management team, though, it doesn’t have to be.

Since the start of the pandemic, facilities staff has remained committed to the health and safety of the Pitt community and has worked hard to ensure the indoor air quality on campus meets or exceeds the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For example, facilities management uses automated systems that introduce greater volumes of outdoor air inside. In addition, systems that would typically cycle off overnight are now programed to operate 24 hours per day.

Man with mask using computer with five monitors

A team of experts including engineers, contractors and specialized technicians also developed a ventilation assessment plan to provide a comprehensive review and evaluation process for ventilation systems.

“Through this audit and verification process, we confirmed operations of systems, optimized air flow settings, increased outside air quantities and addressed mechanical deficiencies,” said Dan Fisher, assistant vice chancellor for operations and maintenance. “And we continue to ensure building systems are operating properly to support indoor air quality through regular ongoing maintenance checks.”

As issues have been identified, the processes and controls in place have allowed the facilities management team to quickly and efficiently correct problems, develop and implement new strategies, and ensure systems operate as designed to enhance indoor air quality.

To date, the team has evaluated all systems across 240 campus buildings, completed maintenance and repairs where needed, increased the percentage of outside air flow through system optimizations and installed new HVAC systems, including those in Posvar Hall and the Cathedral of Learning.

For more information, visit the Facilities Management website. For questions regarding HVAC protocols or a specific campus building, your building’s facility manager is available to help.

Get more details about how Pitt prepared buildings for fall.