East Central College HVAC Upgrade Covered by COVID Relief Funds — Spaces4Learning

Healthy Schools

East Central College HVAC Upgrade Covered by COVID Relief Funds

A $1.4 million HVAC upgrade at Missouri’s East Central College, paid for by federal COVID relief funds, is expected to reduce virus transmission in several campus buildings. The work was approved and completed in June 2021 for the fall opening. The work was carried out by Johnson Controls as part of his “OpenBlueHealthy Buildings program.

The scope of the project included replacement of the heat pump, new ultraviolet lamps, new ductwork and ventilation upgrades, and replacement of variable air volume (VAV) boxes in three buildings on campus. According to campus officials, the ultraviolet lamps, lamps and components can “disinfect airflows and continuously clean the surfaces of refrigeration units and drain pans to maintain indoor air quality and comfort.”

As President John Bauer noted in one: News story“Johnson Controls engineered clean air solutions help reduce the risk of infection and create a safer, healthier environment.”

It is not the first time the college has partnered with the company. In 2019, Johnson Controls replaced heating and air conditioning units in three buildings, including the student center and a training center. Before that, the company has performed lighting upgrades, water supply upgrades and other building improvements.

Johnson Controls said it has completed nearly 900 upgrade projects in higher education institutions in time for their fall reopening.

The OpenBlue initiative was launched by Johnson Controls in August 2020 as a suite of digital solutions intended to make shared spaces safer as people return to shared physical spaces. The program may include a combination of hardware, software, and services to:

  • tracing contacts;
  • social distancing;
  • thermal cameras for monitoring possible febrile conditions;
  • Scenario planning for physical interactions;
  • Infection control through HVAC and disinfectant lighting;
  • Mapping and monitoring of space use; and
  • A mobile app for receiving and providing updates on shared spaces and policy changes.

“Now is the time for educators to invest in indoor air quality and into the future of healthy living, sustainability and learning,” said Jaime Paris Boisvert, Johnson Controls director for the higher education market, in a press release. “We know that a healthy campus environment has a direct positive impact on student performance and well-being. Now campuses must also address the short-term needs of COVID-19 along with those long-term health goals. We are honored to be meeting so many forward-looking looking for projects that will optimize the campus experience for years to come, because while infrastructure has always played an important role in public health, upgrades shouldn’t start and end with COVID-19.”

About the author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for the educational publications of 1105 Media The news, Campus technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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