Operating procedures for ventilation systems

GISD Preparation and Continuous Operating Procedures for the Operation of Central and Non-Central Ventilation Systems during the COVID-19 Pandemic-current as of 8/10/20

Improving ventilation in school buildings and other district facilities is an integral component of COVID-19 safeguards. Coupled with social distancing, face coverings, and hand washing, the district provides proven safety and security measures for students, parents/guardians, staff and community members.

 Data show that providing proper ventilation through adequate Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems improves student and staff performance. It does so by reducing the viable virus load found in indoor spaces.

 This document outlines GISD HVAC procedures. If recommendations change from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, and the Texas Education Agency, we will update this document.

 The following steps apply in preparation for reoccupation of Garland ISD facilities:

  1. The HVAC unit will perform preventative maintenance (PM) inspections and provide corrective maintenance repairs of HVAC systems to ensure systems and equipment are operating at optimum efficiency.
  2. All continuous fan ventilation systems will operate for one week prior to the reoccupation of school buildings.
  3. The PM crew will change its MERV-11 HVAC filters in every facility prior to reoccupation and then on at least a quarterly basis.   
  4. There will be ongoing discussions within district administration as to current procedures with respect to required, planned, or engineer-recommended changes to ventilation or exhaust system operations for the coming year.  

 The continuous operation of Garland ISD facilities includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Flush and/or purge the air inside the building for a minimum of two hours prior to occupancy and two hours after occupancy (when custodians leave for the evening), with dampers opened to capacity during this flushing period.
  2. Schedule the Building Automation System (BAS) to align with building flushing/purge ventilation requirements starting two hours before building occupancy and two hours after occupancy.
  3. Change MERV-11 filters on at least a quarterly basis. 
  4. Keep the continuous fan ventilation system running when the building is in use.
  5. Keep bathroom exhaust systems running when the building is in use; adjust operating times as needed.
  6. Train building office staff to notify the Facilities & Maintenance Department through the work order system if the BAS needs to remain open longer than usual.
  7. Train building office staff to notify Facilities & Maintenance of any issues in regard to HVAC/Plumbing/Electrical repair requirements or emergencies utilizing the following:
    1. Garland ISD Security – emergencies only
    2. Asset Essentials – Work Order Management System           
  8. Provide portable air purifiers, if required, in support of isolation rooms designed to hold contaminated students prior to dismissal or parent pick up.
  9. Schedule ongoing and routine inspections and maintenance of mechanical systems through the work order system. 

The project manager inspection includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

  1. Coil cleaning – Condenser
  2. Coil cleaning – Evaporator
  3. FCU/AHU – coil inspection and cleaning
  4. Dampers and Actuator – inspection for functionality
  5. Belts, bearings and pulleys
  6. Unit Structure – internal and external
  7. Unit pressures
  8. Refrigerant leaks
  9. Water leaks
  10. Electrical components and connections
  11. Chiller inspection and maintenance
  12. Boiler inspection and maintenance
  13. Pump inspection and maintenance
  14. Make up air unit inspections
  15. Exhaust fan inspections and maintenance
  16. Vent hood for kitchens