The Critical Role of Ventilation Systems in Your Reopening Strategy
Introducing New Resources from Accruent Analytics and Accruent Capital Planning
The jobs of facilities managers and facility capital planners have really come under the spotlight in the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, the condition and maintenance of our facilities has been critical. Many have implemented new daily inspection and sanitation routines, and there is also a focus on space planning to safely accommodate all of the individuals who are returning to work and educational spaces. One of the other major areas of concern has been the condition of HVAC systems in buildings.
Public health experts from organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control, and the Canadian Public Health Agency have all called out the critical importance of well-maintained ventilation systems in preventing the spread of the virus indoors. In fact, studies have shown that fresh air circulation can reduce the risk of infection by 70% (see NIH, Dept of Health and Social Care). Any deferred maintenance on HVAC systems has now emerged as a concern because properly working ventilation systems are critical to preventing the spread of the virus indoors. This issue becomes even more important with the winter season, when keeping windows open or spending time outdoors is less of an option.
At the same time, many organizations are experiencing increased budgetary strains given the unexpected costs of responding to the pandemic. Facilities planners are facing their usual challenge of carefully allocating budget for capital improvements, now with unique urgency. It is with these issues in mind that we have developed new resources for Accruent Capital Planning customers to better identify and plan their ventilation system improvement strategy.
Introducing the System Vulnerability Index
The “System Vulnerability Index” is a new metric created to help users of the VFA Facility application identify and prioritize which ventilation systems need their immediate attention. Using newly created reports in Accruent Analytics, the index returns a value between 1 to 10 for each included system, with 4 and above considered “High Vulnerability." The index considers specific industry standards around ventilation system age and condition, and can also be modified by users with appropriate permissions to accommodate for organization-specific variables or include other ventilation factors unique to an organization’s circumstances.
These reports are designed to help Accruent customers gain insight into the condition of ventilation systems across a region, campus or within a facility, and rely on available data about ventilation systems in VFA Facility software. Using this data and the specially calculated “System Vulnerability Index” metric, users can get a perspective on the readiness of their organization’s ventilation systems to support reopening.
Using Your Facility Data to Empower Your Building Strategy
Capital planners and building operations professionals are often challenged to effectively prioritize needs given a vast set of information about their facilities portfolio and related systems. That is why VFA Facility’s mission has always included enabling facilities professionals to gain insights that can inform budgetary planning. By centralizing asset and facility information, VFA Facility already helps hundreds of organizations to efficiently gather and maintain facility condition data, and then leverage that data to optimize decisions about capital investments. Given this new pandemic crisis, our response has been to create new data-driven resources for our customers to better plan their reopening strategy.
Facilities planning and operations teams play a critical role in keeping communities and families safe. At Accruent, we are committed to ensuring that our applications provide these professionals with the best tools to continue to be effective in this important work.
Accruent's VFA capital planning software can help your organization safely, efficiently and compliantly reopen your office or educational campus. Contact us today to get started.
Disclaimer: The COVID Ventilation Reports in VFA Analytics are intended to serve as an aid for gathering information for determining a building’s operational readiness for re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic. This product is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended for use in making decisions on re-opening a building based on safety or sanitation. The decision to re-open facilities is the Client’s responsibility and should be made considering applicable governmental regulations and local guidance. All data used to generate reports are entered wholly by the customer, and Accruent is not responsible for such data’s accuracy, appropriateness, or completeness. ACCRUENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR DECISIONS MADE WITH THIS DATA.