To support the Straz’s application for Cares Act funds during the COVID pandemic, TLC performed a Health & Wellness audit, as well as limited retro-commissioning of the facility. Additional goals included determining the feasibility of replacing existing outside air fans with 100% outside air chilled water units and the potential of converting the Patel Conservatory (45,000 square feet) to the existing chilled water system.
The entire Straz facility was evaluated using the guidelines published by Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the WELL Building Standard. The evaluation included, but was not limited to:
- Promoting Clean Contact
- Improving Air Quality
- Maintaining Water Quality
- Fate Transport of Indoor Microbiological Aerosols (FaTIMA) Simulations. Use of FaTIMA, which is based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) software, allows for determination of COVID virus and other airborne contaminants associated with ventilation, filtration, and dissipative and inactivation mechanisms.
A report of the study findings summarizes potential steps to update the Patel Conservatory system, as well as recommendations for improving indoor air quality.
A Cares Act grant of $680,000 was made to the Straz to improve the HVAC system as well as install touchless doors and water fountains.