Teaching Spaces and Lecture Timings
Information Reviewed and updated on 1st March 2022
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The air flow and CO2 levels in all mechanically ventilated teaching spaces will be monitored in real time by Estate Services via the Building Management System.
All mechanically ventilated teaching spaces have been assessed with reference to REHVA Guidance re. COVID-19 in order to ensure the provision of adequate ventilation.
Any rooms not in compliance with these guidelines have been modified to improve ventilation, have had their capacity reduced or have been removed from use as a classroom.
Where the ventilation of spaces has been modified this has been revalidated within the space and where necessary external guidance and advice has been sought.
It should be noted that as ventilation rates are increased it is likely that there may be additional noise in rooms.
Faculty will be informed if a teaching space is to be removed from use for maintenance or other reasons and alternative arrangements put in place.
Estate Services have carried out the ventilation audit of teaching space. Where necessary external guidance and advice has been sought to validate the findings and any changes made to ventilation systems.
A CO2 alarm is an indicator of exhaled air in the area around the CO2 sensor. It is not indicative of Covid levels in a space nor does a CO2 alarm render a space as unsafe to work in. A CO2 alarm is indicative of poor ventilation in a room.
An ‘amber’ warning on a CO2 monitor means that CO2 levels in the room are over 1,000ppm. If an ‘amber’ alarm register then you should:
- Ensure that persons have not congregated close to the sensor
- Wait for short period of time to see if the alarm clears (returns to amber or green)
- If the monitor remains in alarm make sure windows are open fully
- If necessary open classroom door(s) temporarily to improve air flow
Experience to date has shown that this should be sufficient to reduce CO2 levels back below 1000ppm.
The types of local CO2 monitors in use in UCD and how they display CO2 levels and alarms are shown below.
A continuous ‘amber’ warning is not a reason to end a class but should be reported to Estates on ext. 7000 at the end of the class. If Estates cannot rectify the situation you may choose not to use the teaching space until resolved.
If elevated levels of CO2 are found on a consistent basis in a space then the use and occupancy of that space will be reviewed and if necessary modified.
CO2 levels will fluctuate at the start and end of class and as persons move around the CO2 sensor (your exhaled breath contains ~40,000ppm of CO2). Always allow time for an alarm status to return to ‘green’ before contacting Estates.
If you are concerned about ventilation in a space Estate Services can provide a CO2 monitor for a time to validate ventilation efficiency.
If the BMS detects elevated CO2 levels then the ventilation system will increase air flow / extraction rates if that functionality is available. If that automatic increase in ventilation rates is not available then Estate Services via BMS monitoring will send a resource to the classroom to check the CO2 levels on the ground and will ensure that the mechanical air handling system is working correctly.
If C02 levels remain elevated then Estate Services may request that the class be ended early so that a review can be carried out.
All lectures should start on the hour and conclude at 45 minutes
It provides some additional time for faculty to set up their lectures for lecture capture.