With P3Venti Pandemic Ready

Proper ventilation is necessary for a healthy and pleasant indoor environment. It is well known that proper ventilation improves air quality and limits the spread of airborne viral particles (aerosols), such as the coronavirus. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate is one of the advice often heard to prevent the spread of Corona. We know that very strong ventilation is easily achieved in summer, but that it becomes quite difficult in the cold winter season. It is not easy to open the windows wide, especially now with high energy costs.

Now the question is how to ventilate sufficiently effectively while preventing excessive ventilation. What are critical areas where higher concentrations of viruses and pathogens are to be expected? If so, what kind of measures are minimally needed there? What are effective measures? What provisions does this require in the building and facilities? How should users deal with those facilities? What does this mean for the current building stock? Is it adequately equipped to prevent another pandemic outbreak? What measures are needed in those buildings to prevent large-scale outbreaks?

What ventilation measures are needed in current retirement homes to prevent pandemic outbreaks.

P3Venti is a VWS/TNO research program for healthcare buildings. For buildings housing vulnerable people with weaker health, attention to adequate measures is especially important. This is why the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has a research program P3Venti. As part of this program, TNO conducts research in elderly care buildings.

What are you going to do?
The aim of the research is to find out what measures can be taken to achieve sufficient effective ventilation to prevent pandemic outbreaks in the most critical areas in nursing homes. What are the necessary provisions, but perhaps more importantly, how are the provisions used in practice? After all, having lots of open windows/grilles, after all, is no guarantee that they will actually be opened. How are the air flows in the room? Are filters changed sufficiently frequently? How much air actually enters the space? Who takes care of opening/closing the windows?

After a literature review, you will survey facilities in retirement homes in the eastern part of the Netherlands and interview users and installation maintenance companies to verify the robustness of facilities and provide advice for proper use. You will investigate which facilities are needed to prevent drafts and comfort complaints, for example. You will use the taxonomy drawn up by TNO for this purpose, having first critically examined this taxonomy yourself. You look at user measures, structural measures and installation measures.

With the data from existing buildings you will then make risk analyses with mathematical models. You calculate when there are real risks of infections of groups of residents/users and what effective measures are based on that and what this then means for certain types of rooms in retirement homes.

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):