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Building ventilation, COVID-19 and cold weather

In the past period, we have frequently called upon the users of our buildings to do their bit to ensure proper ventilation. This is not only relevant to give COVID-19 as little chance as possible, but especially to create a pleasant environment to work and study in. Especially now that it is getting colder outside, we would like to remind you how you can contribute to clean air in our buildings.

Clean and safe air

What exactly we mean by clean and safe air is laid down by various standards. For example, there is the Buildings Decree, which lays down the guidelines for the design of buildings. In its advice on COVID-19, the RIVM requests that these guidelines are met. All UT buildings meet these guidelines.

In all buildings it is important that there are not too many people in a room. As a rule of thumb, we use at least 7 m2 per person. So in a room of about 21m2 you can work together with three people. For Cubicus and Zilverling, we ask you to use a standard of (on average) 10 m2 per person. So in a room of 21m2 two people can work together.

A number of buildings - Cubicus and Zilverling - do require extra attention from their users, because proper use is very important for good ventilation and air circulation. Although these buildings meet the standards set in the Building Decree, some staff and students do not always like the air in the building. Especially in the current period with COVID-19, this causes extra discomfort for some.

Cubicus

Cubicus has mechanical ventilation. The building has been designed in such a way - with grilles in the window frames and gaps under doors, for example - that the air flows through the building in a controlled manner and is regularly refreshed. It is important to keep these free and open. Only then can the ventilation do its work optimally, so that air exchange takes place in accordance with the standards of the Dutch Building Decree. In addition, users can choose to open windows every now and then for extra air exchange.

Because we have noticed in practice that not all vents are always open properly, we recommend that each person in Cubicus has 10 m2 of office space instead of 7 m2, in order to guarantee sufficient ventilation at all times. In some places, this means temporarily limited capacity.

In all cases, it is important that there are not too many people in a room. For Cubicus, we ask you to assume an average of 10 m2 per person. So in a room of 21m2 two people can work together, instead of three. Keep this in mind, for example, when you come together as a group to work, meet or study.

If you are unable to find a suitable room for meetings or collaboration or if you have any questions, please contact the building manager of your building (Team manager Facility Services).

Zilverling

In the Zilverling building, there is natural ventilation. Make sure that the grilles above the windows are always free and open.

Because we notice in practice that not all vents are always open properly, we recommend in Zilverling not to keep 7 m2, but 10 m2 office space per person. In some cases, this leads to fewer workplaces in a room. Take this into account, for example, when you come together as a group to work, meet or study. Here, too, it is advisable to open a window now and then for additional air exchange.

In the bars and three offices in Zilverling's Educafé there is mechanical ventilation, but unfortunately, it is not sufficient for larger groups. Therefore, they cannot be used by large groups at the moment.

If you cannot find a suitable room for consultation or cooperation or if you have any questions, please contact the building manager of your building (Team manager Facility Services).

To measure is to know

Do you feel that the air quality in your room is not optimal? The UT has CO2 meters which we can use to determine the quality in rooms. Please contact the building manager of your building (Team manager Facility Services) to make use of this. You can also contact them if you have specific questions.

Sustainability and comfort

Keeping grilles open and regularly opening windows means that, with the fresh air, a lot of cold air is currently entering the building. This may make the situation less comfortable. It also feels unsustainable because it may mean that the heating has to be turned up.

The renovation of the ventilation system in Cubicus and Zilverling is planned for 2024/2025 and aims to resolve this, both from the perspective of clean air and sustainability. Unfortunately, these solutions cannot be realised in the very short term. For now, we ask you to take them into account, for example in your choice of clothing.