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Manuel Losada Rodríguez  

All -Tech Product Strategist

Functional Design Synthesizer

School Araya prevention COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was much uncertainty about how to establish protocols for public buildings to reduce the risk of contagion, I was given the opportunity to participate in a meaningful project by Fares Kamelo. Our goal was to create a document that would describe how to prevent the spread of the virus in schools.

To gather the necessary information, I delved into numerous research papers and studied pilot projects that others had conducted. Through this process, I developed a comprehensive understanding of various strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in educational settings.

I designed a system that takes into account the volumetric calculation of each room, the average number of people occupying the space, the rotation of individuals, and the direct or cross-ventilation capacities of each room. To monitor air quality, we placed CO2 sensors in every room, which would emit sounds to indicate when to ventilate the space, evacuate it, or take other necessary actions.

I am proud to have been a part of this project, which we undertook without any intention of making a profit. Our main motivation was to protect the well-being of students, teachers, and staff in schools during such a challenging time. By sharing our findings and solutions, we hoped to make a positive impact on the lives of those in our community and beyond.

One of the main reasons why CO2 is a useful indicator for measuring the risk of contagion is its affordability and effectiveness as a measurement tool. While there are more advanced and accurate systems available, the CO2 indicator stands out for its accessibility and ease of replication. This makes it an ideal solution for schools and other public spaces looking for cost-effective ways to monitor air quality.

Using CO2 levels as a proxy for potential viral transmission allows for real-time assessment of indoor spaces. When a room is occupied, the concentration of CO2 increases due to human respiration. In spaces with poor ventilation, this can lead to a higher likelihood of airborne virus transmission. By monitoring CO2 levels, we can determine the appropriate time to ventilate or evacuate a space to minimize the risk of contagion.

As a general rule, the characteristics of ventilation in a room, such as the number of air changes per hour, should be considered in conjunction with factors like room volume, average number of occupants, and breathing rates. For instance, in a room with a volume designed for 30 students, one would need to consider the average respiration rate of the occupants, the room’s dimensions, and its ventilation capabilities to calculate the duration of safe occupancy.

By using CO2 sensors to monitor air quality and implementing timely ventilation, we can create safer environments for students, teachers, and staff, while also ensuring that the solutions we provide are affordable and easily replicated in various settings.