Rowan College at Burlington County maintains healthy indoor air quality through the college’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Managing these systems are critical to mitigate the risks of airborne spread of COVID-19 indoors and we have made several enhancements over the summer in preparation to resume on-campus activities.

The college meets all requirements of the N.J. Dept. of Labor’s Safety Indoor Air Quality Standards for Public Employees. We have made several adjustments in the following best practices recommended by several environmental, health and HVAC organizations in these areas:

Ventilation

A good supply of outside air helps to dilute indoor contaminants. Our dampers have historically been set to recycle 15% to 20% of indoor air in a building, but this has been increased to approximately 50% to 60% depending on outdoor conditions, since April. Laboratories are set at 100% outside air.

In most indoor spaces on campus, the air is exchanged about six times per hour - once every 10 minutes. In laboratories, air is exchanged between eight to 12 times per hour - once every 5 to 8 minutes. These are both within industry standards. 

Filtration

We use nearly 1,000 air filters throughout the campus that use - at a minimum - a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) 8 filter. With the increased outdoor air quality, MERV 8 filters, which stop 85% of particles 3 microns or larger, act as a secondary defense mechanism. Some of these systems have a secondary filter that adds an additional layer of protection. These “pocket” filters increase the filtration rate to block 90% of particles 3 microns or larger.

Before the COVID pandemic, the college inspected filters every quarter. Since the pandemic, these inspections occur nearly monthly. Inspections include a visual examination for any signs of wear or overuse as well as a taking a reading of air flow to ensure they are operating at full capacity.

The college is also using electro static disinfectors in classrooms and public areas that will eliminate smaller particles before they enter the ventilation system. 

Inspection and Maintenance

All of our systems are inspected and maintained according to manufacturer’s recommendations. We maintain volumes of records that document our work, which are available for inspection upon request through the chief operations officer.

The adjustments to the college’s HVAC and air flow are meant to supplement and enhance the other on-campus safety protocols such as social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.

If you have any questions or concerns about air quality, please contact:

Matt Farr
Chief Operations Officer
mfarr@rcbc.edu