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Work Package 1: Experiments

Use class 2 environmentally controlled chambers to provide experimental data on the transport and distribution of aerosols. 

Work Package 2: Modelling

Use simulation and analysis incorporating the following three key areas:

  • Using analytical methods to develop an understanding of the physical processes involved in aerosol transport; in particular we will consider the correlation between temperature, relative humidity and the behaviour and evaporation of aerosols.
  • The work here will compare different computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling techniques, e.g. URANS and LES, and inform a Relative Exposure Index. The work will also underpin design and operation guidance for practicing engineers wishing to use CFD for other scenarios and geometries.
  • Augment an existing indoor environment Relative Exposure Index model using the mathematical models generated by the analytical models and outputs from the CFD simulations.

Work Package 3: Field studies

With the recognition that COVID-19 is airborne indoors, indoor air quality and high standards of ventilation may play a crucial part in enabling society to adapt to a “new normal” safely. This Work Package undertakes field studies to understand the real-world air quality and ventilation of buildings in a wide variety of settings, to understand primarily where exhaled breath builds up indoors and why.  It is recognised that CO2 does not directly correlate to the concentration of the virus in the air, but correlates to exhaled breath in indoor air. Exhaled breath might accumulate because of poor ventilation for the space, high occupancy for the space (temporarily or consistently), or, more often, both. 

The field studies will entail:

  • Air Quality measurement: CO2, T, RH in a large number of internal spaces of various sizes with different ventilation schemes. 
  • Airflow measurements, for validation of CFD simulations
  • Analysis of ventilation systems and their effectiveness

And in some settings, also:

  • Microbiological sampling of surfaces and air; PCRs for SARS-CoV-2
  • Crowd movement and analysis of social grouping

The AIRBODS team was asked to contribute to the governments Events Research Programme by carrying out the environmental study of a wide range of venues and events, between April and July 2021. This study helped to build the evidence base on air quality at a wide range of venues and events and improved understanding of potential risks of airborne transmission at events, and their mitigations. The study enabled the UK to re-open events in culture, music and sports industries whilst improving safety at these events. Analysis of the data is ongoing. 

Work Package 4: Design guidance and dissemination

Use the lessons learnt from Work Packages 1, 2 and 3 to inform practical guidance on responses to SARS-CoV-2 for at least the building typologies investigated, and provide prediction tools and modelling advice.