In order to take all appropriate measures against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, UCLouvain quickly set up a "Logistics Task Force" in charge of applying the FWB "higher education" protocols.
Already in the first wave, measures had been taken to ensure, where possible, a maximum air renewal in auditoriums equipped with mechanical ventilation.
An exhaustive inventory was carried out in order to have a dashboard with information per computer room/lecture room/auditorium concerning the presence or absence of mechanical ventilation (flow rate, air renewal,...) and/or the ventilation capacity (openable windows, ventilation grids,...)
On this basis, an action plan has been implemented for some premises:
- Adjustment of the ventilation to optimize the air renewal;
- Adjustment to avoid internal air recycling;
- Unlocking of certain openings;
- Launching of some corrective actions in case of insufficient or defective ventilation;
- Temporary closing of some rooms
- Test phase with about 40 CO2 sensors connected to a wireless network (IOT - Internet Of Things)
The vast majority of the tiered auditoriums (where the largest cohorts of students are concentrated) are equipped with CO2 measurement sensors, some of which are interfaced automatically or semi-automatically with the HVAC regulation (heating and ventilation of the auditorium), which makes it possible to act in real time on the rate of renewal of the air in the room if certain thresholds are exceeded.
For other rooms, ventilation is a simple measure to implement and helps reduce the risk of accumulation of aerosols loaded with viral particles.
It is planned to progressively extend the network of CO2 sensors, focusing on the most problematic premises in terms of ventilation according to the risk analysis carried out.
It is advisable to ventilate rooms as often as possible according to the following basic recommendations:
- Ventilate continuously or every 1.5 hours by opening windows and doors before activities (10 to 15 minutes), at breaks (5 minutes minimum) and after activities (10-15 minutes)
- Prefer learning or evaluation activities of maximum 3 hours continuously in the same room
- Keep windows (at least two if there are several) and doors ajar during activities and fully open during breaks
- If window vents are present (e.g., grills), ensure that they are operational and open
- Keep windows and exterior doors ajar, if possible