Designing buildings ventilation to reduce the risk of airborne pathogens


The change of paradigm ushered in by COVID 19, along with similar challenges that may arise in the future, has highlighted the importance of designing safe and healthy buildings, deploying (occupancy, ventilation, filtering …) strategies that lower the risk of disease caused by air-borne pathogens.

The session would be organised around four lectures and an open panel discussion in which brainstorming will be welcome.

The first lecture would be delivered by invited speaker Susan Roaf on future design trends to prevent collapse in hospitals. A second would analyse an online tool based on mean CO2 levels as an indirect indicator of human presence or air change rates to estimate possible risks in classrooms, offices, restaurants or family gatherings. The other two lectures would describe studies on design and ventilation strategies in educational environments.

The lectures will be followed by a Wooclap-mediated online panel discussion to conceptually map session participants’ proposals for measures to mitigate the spread of virus aerosols, including:

  • event duration (exposure time)
  • occupancy (proportion of allowable).
  • facemasks: use and type
  • ventilation
  • impact of purifying the air.



  • The change in paradigm necessitates changes in buildings if occupants are to continue to be able to use them safely for the purposes for which they were built: education, work and domestic life. The primary objectives of this session are therefore:

    • to identify future trends for designing safe and healthy buildings
    • to create a platform for debating measures to mitigate the spread of virus aerosols in buildings. 


  • Minimising Hospital Acquired Infections using Good Design: Future Trends – Susan Roaf, Heriot Watt University, United Kingdom
  • Covid airborne risk: online tool to develop healthy buildings – Miguel Ángel Campano,  Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.
  • Design and Indoor Air Quality in kindergartens in Italy – Samuel Domínguez-Amarillo, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.


  • Jesica Fernández-Agüera, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain


  • 75 minutes