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Heliyon . Investigating the effectiveness of a new indoor ventilation model in reducing the spread of disease: A case of sports centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Heliyon . Investigating the effectiveness of a new indoor ventilation model in reducing the spread of disease: A case of sports centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic

    Heliyon


    . 2024 Mar 19;10(6):e27877.
    doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e27877. eCollection 2024 Mar 30. Investigating the effectiveness of a new indoor ventilation model in reducing the spread of disease: A case of sports centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic

    J M Ballesteros Álvarez 1 , A Romero Barriuso 2 , B M Villena Escribano 3 , A Rodríguez Sáiz 1 , C González-Gaya 3



    AffiliationsAbstract

    The ventilation of buildings is crucial to ensure indoor health, especially when demanding physical activities are carried out indoors, and the pandemic has highlighted the need to develop new management methods to ensure adequate ventilation. In Spain, there are no specific ventilation regulations to prevent the spread of pathogens such as the coronavirus. Therefore, it is necessary to have a theoretical tool for calculating occupancy to maintain sports facilities in optimal safety conditions. The proposed theoretical method is based on the analysis of mathematical expressions from European standardisation documents and uses the concentration of CO2 as a bioeffluent. It is also based on the concept of background and critical concentration, which allows its application to be extrapolated to future crises caused by pathogens. This study presents a unique and novel dataset for sports centres. For this purpose, the calculation methods were applied to the data set provided by Mostoles City Council, Spain, during the pandemic years with the highest incidence of COVID-19, when the government introduced the assimilation of COVID-19 sick leave to occupational accidents. The data on this type of sick leave provided by the City Council correspond to the period between March 2020 and February 2022. Similarly, the data on the average use of sports facilities by activity, provided by the Sports Department, correspond to the years 2020 and 2021. In this way, it was possible to verify the effectiveness in preventing the spread of any type of coronavirus. In conclusion, the implementation of a theoretical occupancy calculation method based on the concentration of carbon dioxide as a bioeffluent can be an effective tool for the management of future crises caused by pathogens or hazardous chemicals in the air, and demonstrated its effectiveness in sports centres such as gyms, sports fields, and indoor swimming pools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Keywords: Air change rate; Air quality; COVID-19; Indoor ventilation; Sports centres.

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