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Ventilation

While the vaccination of all York community members remains a top priority to keep the community safe, strong ventilation and wearing masks in all indoor settings are essential in protecting against COVID-19.

Ventilation systems run on a 24/7 schedule on both campuses. Air purifiers are used in a limited number of locations on York’s campuses, where there is no mechanical ventilation in place (such as the Glendon Manor) or in higher risk spaces that host instrumental and vocal music.

Standards that inform the University’s approach to ventilation

York closely follows the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ Epidemic Task Force guidelines. The guide focuses on the importance of following the latest public health guidelines on protective health and safety measures, improving filtration and using HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems to ensure a clean air supply.

The university also follows Public Health Ontario’s guidance on Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems in Buildings and COVID-19, which focuses on specific measures for minimizing the risk of infectious aerosols, such as increasing outdoor air ventilation and increasing the efficiency of air filters.

How ventilation is monitored on York’s campuses

All 397 air handling units that exist on both campuses are being monitored electronically by a state-of-the-art Building Automation System and visually by expert technicians. Classrooms are equipped with centralized ventilation systems that enable remote monitoring and rapid response to any issues that are identified.

York’s Building Automation System has been programmed to send out alerts via email in the event that an air handler should stop functioning properly. These alerts go out 24/7 to on-call personnel and to the University’ Supervisory and/or Technical staff and any issues encountered are treated as “Priority 1,” which leads to an immediate remote response and fix or an on-site visit.

Maintaining and repairing ventilation systems

Preventative maintenance is being carried out on air handling units on both campuses.

Air handling systems are being examined frequently through the Building Automation System and technicians handle any necessary repairs.

Air filtration systems have also been upgraded to use MERV-13 (hospital-grade) filters and these are being changed out frequently. HEPA filter systems have also been installed in spaces that either have no mechanical ventilation in place or where higher risk activities happen, such as performing arts spaces.

York is maximizing air quality in classrooms, office spaces, research areas, fitness sites and common areas:

  • Running HVAC fans before classes start and after they end for the day.
  • Filters have been updated in all buildings to MERV 13 and HEPA filters are used in buildings such as Glendon Hall, where central HVAC systems have not been installed.
  • Maintaining a minimum of 30 per cent fresh air supply (where possible based on building ventilation design), with many spaces using primarily fresh air.
  • Classrooms are equipped with centralized ventilation systems that enable remote monitoring and adjustments.
  • Remote monitoring alarms indicate if and when air handling systems are not running properly.
  • Most buildings are equipped with ventilation systems that allow for fresh air circulation and if not, they have been equipped with HEPA filter systems.

For more information:

Read the November 3, 2021 University Affairs article highlighting York’s director of property management, Stewart Dankner, on ventilation improvements

Read the July 27, 2021 Yfile interview with director of property management, Stewart Dankner

VENTILATION AT YORK'S KEELE AND GLENDON CAMPUSES

Facilities staff have operated in a high-alert mode throughout the pandemic, and attend to any ventilation alerts on-demand, at any time of the day or night.

Of the 94 buildings listed below:

  • 88 have mechanical ventilation systems that run on a 24/7 schedule, and meet/exceed ventilation and air quality standards
  • 4 buildings do not have mechanical ventilation and are not in use
  • 2 do not have mechanical ventilation systems, and York has supplied air purifiers (HEPA filters)
BUILDING NAMENOTE
10 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
12 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
14 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
16 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
18 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
190 Albany RoadMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
2 AssiniboineMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
2 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
4 AssiniboineMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
4 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
6 AssiniboineMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
6 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
8 AssiniboineMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
8 PassyMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Accolade EastMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Accolade WestMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Alumni Stadium (old)Mechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Arboretum Parking PS2Mechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Atkinson CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Atkinson ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Behavioural Science BuildingMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Bennett CentreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
BergeronMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Bethune CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Bethune ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Burton AuditoriumMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Calumet CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Calumet ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Central SquareMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Central Utilities BuildingMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Centre for Film and TheatreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Chemistry BuildingMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Computer MethodsMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
CurtisMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Executive Learning CentreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
FarquharsonMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Field HouseMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Founders Annex NorthMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Founders Annex SouthMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Founders CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Founders ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Glendon HallHEPA filters provided in rooms where 2+ people meet
Goldfarb Centre for Fine ArtsMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Health Nursing Enviro. StudiesMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
HilliardMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Honour CourtNot available for use
Hoover HouseNot available for use
Kaneff TowerMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
KinsmenMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
LassondeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Leslie Frost LibraryMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Life SciencesMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
LumbersMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
McEwan SSB ExpansionMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
McLaughlin CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Metro Track & FieldMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
New Student CentreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Osgoode HallMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
PetrieMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Physical Resources BuildingMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Pond Road ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Proctor Field HouseMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
RossMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Schulich School of BusinessMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Scott LibraryMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Scott Religious CentreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Seneca - TELMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Sherman Health SciMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Skennen'ko:wa GamigHistoric building, culturally significant gathering space, HEPA filter provided
Steacie LibraryMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
StedmanMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Stong BarnNot available for use
Stong CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Stong HouseNot available for use
Stong ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Student CentreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Tait McKenzieMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Tatham HallMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Vanier CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Vanier ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Vari HallMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Victor Dahdaleh (TEL)Mechanical ventilation, building available for use.
West Office BuildingMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
William Small CentreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Winters CollegeMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Winters ResidenceMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
Wood ResMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
York BookstoreMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
York HallMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
York Lanes OfficesMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
York Lanes Parking PS1Mechanical ventilation, building available for use.
York Lanes RetailMechanical ventilation, building available for use.
York Lions StadiumMechanical ventilation, building available for use.