If you are following Pitkin County’s weekly Community Meetings (catch the latest here), you’ve heard Aspen Valley Hospital CEO Dave Ressler talk about “negative pressure rooms.” These are treatment rooms whose ventilation systems, by design, can be tuned to push more air out than in*. This setting prevents air — and, notably, airborne corona virus droplets — from escaping the negative pressure rooms, meaning infection can’t spread to other parts of the hospital.
CORE’s energy analysts use a similar approach during energy assessments. Using a diagnostic tool called a blower door unit, the analysts control airflow with high-powered fans to depressurize the building. In this case, negative pressure is employed to identify drafts that they can then seal up to tighten the building envelope, a foundation of energy efficiency.
Now more than ever, healthy, well-built buildings are having an impact on our lives. To find out how you can tune your building and get on the Path to Zero, visit www.aspencore.org/take-action.
*When this story originally ran, we had our “in” and “out” in reverse order. Thank you to careful reader Dave Everett for bringing this to our attention.