Natural Resources Canada has developed a voluntary self-assessment tool to provide feedback on the impact of your HVAC strategies during and after pandemics. It highlights key areas and best practices for efficient HVAC operation during these times and helps your operations team respond with greater confidence. More specifically, the tool can provide assessment and guidance that:
- Highlight where HVAC operation can be improved to meet energy efficiency best practices without compromising current guidelines for pandemic HVAC operations.
- Provide resources and references to help determine an improved HVAC operation strategy and plan during a pandemic.
- Emphasize the Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx) approach and its application to assist owners with HVAC operations. NRCan’s four-stage EBCx process can often provide savings of 10 to 15%, as well as other non-energy benefits.
The free tool is made available to you free of charge on the NRCan website: nrcan.gc.ca
The voluntary self-assessment tool has reportedly been tested with a variety of property managers and operations staff. The aim is to provide reputable advice on the critical HVAC elements in response to the pandemic period while optimizing energy consumption in a commercial office, based on recognized sources.
Since every building and HVAC system is unique, with their unique requirements, the tool cannot recommend specific operating parameters. Instead, the tool is based on a series of 10 questions that focus on the key elements to consider for the efficient operation of HVAC systems during a pandemic. These elements are drawn from recognized sources in the HVAC industry and from the best practices recommended by these organizations.
This tool is aimed at commercial offices, but can be used with caution for other facilities with a similar occupancy. For sectors that have very specific sanitary requirements, such as the healthcare sector, additional considerations are of course necessary. Each question has a brief reference or additional resource to provide context. Space is also provided to comment on the respective response.