Chapter meetings

Join us for a virtual chapter meeting on December 15th at 12 Noon!

How to Mitigate the Transmission of Viruses via hvac systems

Technical Program Description

Over the last few months, the CDC, WHO, as well as ASHRAE and other regulatory and advisory bodies have concluded that there is now sufficient evidence of airborne transmission of COVID-19 to justify improving ventilation and filtration of buildings in order to render them safe for their occupants.  Mitigation of COVID-19 requires increased OA ventilation and enhanced filtration that could be costly to operate and in some climates make the long term problem worse by introducing mold and mildew into the building.

However, in most existing buildings, upgrading existing HVAC systems to effectively tackle viruses may also be an opportunity for an energy upgrade that will payback in healthy indoor environments as well as lower energy costs for years to come.

This presentation will focus on the following:

  • What we know about COVID-19 and other viruses

  • How bioaerosols travel an their lifespan

  • How airborne pathogens can be transmitted via HVAC and some DOAS units

  • Side effects of increased ventilation

  • The effectiveness of different filters

  • How UVC can be used as a supplement to filtration

  • Portable units and systems upgrade options with number of air changes

  • Effects of Room pressurization on virus mitigation

  • Improvements made to RTUs over the years in order to reduce energy costs

  • What are some of the retrofit options for older RTUs that can effectively mitigate Viruses as well as hep in meeting the latest ventilation, acoustic, and energy standards and regulations



Harry Topikian, P.E.


Harry Topikian is the Director of teh Air Treatment Division for Multistack, a leading modular chiller, ERV and DOAS manufacturer headquartered in Sparta, WI.  He has over 30 years of experience in energy recycling, air purification, and specialty air treatment solutions for diverse applications including the Hong Kong water treatment plant, Burj Khalifa in Dubia, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.  Harris is a graduate of the Building Engineering program at Concordia University, Montreal.  Harry has spoken at numerous conferences on energy conservation and virus mitigation including the World Energy Conference and ASHRAE.

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