Post-pandemic building ventilation: what have we learned and what is next?


Understanding and controlling building ventilation can improve the quality of the air we breathe and reduce the risk of indoor health concerns including prevent viruses spreading indoors. The COVID-19 pandemic showed that many buildings are not equipped to achieve adequate ventilation and limit exposure to infected aerosols in occupied spaces.

During the pandemic, various societies and countries have established taskforces to develop COVID-19 ventilation guidance and tools, including on complementing ventilation with air  cleaning, and monitoring indoor air quality. Also new research, standardisation and regulatory programmes have been initiated to make sure cross contamination in indoor environments is better controlled in the future. 

Looking back at these experiences, this workshop discusses the role of ventilation systems in pandemic control, the lack of well-performing ventilation systems in the building stock, and the actions needed to reduce the risk of contamination, now and in the future. The workshop will give a better understanding of recent and on-going initiatives, and of knowledge gaps needed to be filled to come to more resilient building ventilation.

The session is part of the AIVC-project ‘Ventilation, airtightness and COVID-19’ which aims to collect, discuss and disseminate information about COVID-19 in relation to ventilation and airtightness. It was prepared in collaboration with the IEQ-GA COVID-19 Task force. The mission of IEQ-GA is to provide an acceptable indoor environmental quality to occupants in buildings and places of work around the world and to make sure the knowledge from research on IEQ get to be implemented in practice.


  • The objective of this session is to present ongoing developments in ventilation and indoor air quality research, design, standardisation and regulation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to define knowledge gaps and challenges for the research community.


      1. Introduction and problem statement, Arnold Janssens, UGent, Belgium
      2. Infection risk-based ventilation design method, Jarek Kurnitski, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
      3. AIRBODS: Airborne Infection Reduction through Building Operation and Design for SARS-CoV-2, Benjamin Jones, University of Nottingham, UK
      4. ASHRAE Indoor Carbon Dioxide Position Document: What’s Next?, Andy Persily, NIST, USA
      5. Start of the Pandemic Preparedness Program through Ventilation – Knowledge Gaps and application of the results, Roberto Traversari, TNO, the Netherlands
      6. Revision of the ventilation part of EN16798-1 and -2, Bjarne Olesen, DTU, Denmark
      7. Questions, answers and discussion


      1. Arnold Janssens, UGent, Belgium
      2. Wouter Borsboom, TNO, the Netherlands


  • 60 minutes
  • 75 minutes
  • 90 minutes