COVID-19 Ventilation Strategy

Updated: Sept. 7, 2022

Due to the airborne nature of COVID-19, Laurier has taken significant steps to update our ventilation to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

Facilities Asset Management (FAM), with support from Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM), began making updates on the ventilation in the spring of 2020.

Laurier has been following the best practices in building design by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), which provides guidance on the control of COVID-19 in schools and universities. FAM and SHERM have reviewed this guidance along with guidance from provincial and federal health agencies.

What Has Been Done


Filtration has been increased from MERV 8 to MERV 13 in all buildings that have forced air systems. MERV 13 has been recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). Both the CDC and Health Canada recommend the highest filter rating without affecting airflow. MERV 13 is the highest filter rating that can be installed without significantly affecting airflow in our systems. 


Ventilation and specifically increased outdoor air and air changes are far more important than filtration to reduce transmission risks of airborne viruses. Laurier has increased both in buildings that have forced air systems. We have implemented all recommendations to our HVAC that can be done without fully replacing our systems.


FAM has conducted testing of the majority of classrooms in many of our buildings. For details, view the test results. Rooms without the ASHRAE recommended six air changes per hour (ACH) have had additional HEPA units installed to improve the ACH to the value listed in the test results. FAM also continues with routine maintenance of our systems to ensure they are running optimally.

Focus on Prevention Practises

While filtration and ventilation play a role, following public health guidance on masking and vaccinations, as well as staying home while sick, are more effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Laurier will continue to follow public health guidelines as they evolve to keep faculty, staff and students safe.

Frequently Asked Questions