For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Ventilation in buildings

What is the UvA doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our buildings via virus particles in the air (aerosols)?

Coronavirus: extra focus on ventilation

We want everyone to be able to work and study safely in the UVA buildings. By paying extra attention to the ventilation in our buildings, we can prevent virus particles from spreading in the air.
 
How the ventilation works differs from building to building and from room to room. The age of the building plays a role, as does the way in which the indoor air circulates.

Facility Services has assessed all the rooms

We have assessed all the office and teaching locations, following the ventilation guidelines of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). At the door of the room, you will find information on how to use the room.

  • The safe rooms are open for use.
  • Things may have changed in some rooms, for example the maximum number of people that the room can accommodate. There are rooms in which only one person is currently allowed to work.
  • In some rooms, we are taking additional measures. This will always be indicated in the room.
  • Follow the advice about the windows: some windows should be kept closed, while others can be opened.
  • If the indoor air cannot recirculate safely, we have switched off the recirculation system. This means that it may be warmer or colder than usual.
  • Some rooms cannot be used because they do not have good ventilation. 

How does ventilation work?

Ventilation is the constant renewal of the air (24 hours a day). The outside air always replaces part or all of the inside air that is polluted by moisture, gases and possible pathogens. Ventilation can take place in two ways:

  1. through natural ventilation: fresh air comes in from the outside through windows, grilles and gaps and doors, and the dirty air is extracted.
  2. via mechanical ventilation (ventilation system): fresh air enters from the outside via an air-treatment cabinet, and the dirty air is extracted.

Good ventilation ensures that aerosols (particles that may contain the coronavirus) are removed to a sufficient extent. 

How does the recirculation of indoor air work?

In the case of the recirculation of indoor air, the air moves through a room or building without fresh air coming in from the outside. The RIVM distinguishes between two forms of recirculation:
1. from room to room – the air travels a relatively long distance through the building
In the UVA buildings, the central recirculation of the air-treatment system at building level is switched on. Research has shown that this does not pose a risk.
2. from person to person – the air travels a relatively short distance within a room
The UVA has buildings with this type of recirculation at room level.

  • The recirculation system is still on in some rooms. If we ventilate properly (i.e. let in enough clean outside air and properly extract the dirty air), this does not pose a risk. 
  • If the recirculation cannot be used safely, we have switched it off or limited it. Although this may make it warmer or colder than you are used to, please note that the temperature does not mean anything about the ventilation. At the entrance to each room, we indicate how many people may be present in a room if the supply of fresh outside air is limited. If you stick to this maximum, the room will be properly ventilated and does not pose any risk.
  • Frequently asked questions

    Is the ventilation in our buildings in order?

    Yes.

    • In the older buildings, we sometimes have (partial) natural ventilation: fresh air comes in from the outside through windows, grilles and gaps and doors, and the dirty air is extracted.
    • In the more recent buildings, the fresh air comes in from the outside via an air-treatment cabinet. The dirty air is extracted. 

    We monitor whether we can achieve the minimum ventilation specified by the RIVM for all rooms. The ventilation is therefore in order.

    It's stuffy and warm in here, is the ventilation still OK?

    Sometimes the climate in a room might not feel pleasant, but ventilation and climate are different things. Ventilation involves the supply of fresh air and the removal of dirty air. In order to prevent air flows from circulating, we sometimes switch off the recirculation of the cooling in a room. As a result, the indoor climate deteriorates: it gets warm in the room and may feel stuffy. However, this does not mean that the ventilation is not in order.

    I'm in a small room with a lot of people, is that safe?

    It doesn't matter if you're in a large or small room. What counts is the number of people in the room relative to the ventilation. We have checked this in all the rooms.
     
    As long as the number of people does not exceed the maximum number specified for the room in question, you can work there safely.

    I can’t stay 1.5 metres away. 

    If you are vulnerable, it is a good idea to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people. Ventilation does not have much influence on the particles in the air within 1.5 metres of someone; they can therefore cause exposure and transfer. In addition to keeping your distance, you can also wear a face mask. 

    Is it wise to open a window? 

    • If we indicate at the entrance to the room that you can open the window, you can do so without any problems. 
    • If nothing is indicated about windows, leave the window closed to avoid disrupting the ventilation system.

    Can I use a table fan?

    • If you are alone in a room,
      you can certainly use a table fan.
    • If you are in a room with several other people,
    • do not use a table fan. There is a chance that the air will flow from you to someone else, or vice versa.

Complaints or questions about ventilation?

Contact the FS Service Desk. We tackle ventilation problems with the highest priority. 
T 020 525 1403
M servicedesk-fs@uva.nl
Notification form