Ventilation Systems and Bioterrorism
Russell C. Campbell, P.E.
Ventilation systems, their design and operation, will become an increasingly important concern for building owners and occupants facing threats of bioterrorism. Applied in virtually every building, often with central air duct systems serving many areas, these systems have the potential to effectively distribute harmful chemical, biological, or radioactive agents to a great number of people occupying a targeted building. Conversely, ventilation systems can be designed or retrofitted to decrease the risk of a successful attack and even to prevent exposure to chemical, biological, or radiological agents in the event of an attack.
Risks posed by ventilation systems are directly related to the type of attack agent, the route of system attack, and the location of the attack. Potential attack agents include chemicals such as nerve gasses, biological materials such as anthrax, and radioactive particles. Routes of ventilation system attacks consider a myriad of ventilation system design aspects such as the location of intakes and configuration of mechanical equipment. Location of an attack can be either internal to the building or external, each requiring different responses from ventilation system controls.
The first line of defense is prevention. A field-experienced ventilation engineer can assist in identifying potential routes of attack and devise ways to make an attack as difficult as possible.
Properly designed, equipped, constructed, and maintained ventilation systems have the ability to protect building occupants from exposure to chemical, biological, or radiological agents used in an attack. Ventilation engineers can employ a variety of techniques that can provide various levels of protection, ranging from individual rooms to entire buildings and from a single attack agent type to broad-spectrum protection from several types of agents. Ventilation engineering considerations include intake designs, filter applications, building pressurization, airflow rates, system controls, and interlocks with building life-safety systems.
Implementing a protective ventilation system is a complex process that follows a number of defined steps. The process begins with concept development and detailed engineering studies of the building and its systems. Finished construction concludes with intensive qualification and commissioning procedures with the entire project under the strict direction of ventilation engineering specialists.
The above is an abstract of an article written by Russell C. Campbell, P.E.
VENTILATION SECURITY CONSULTANTING
In response to the threat and reality of bioterrorist attacks on the United States, Russell C. Campbell Company has united a collaborative group of concerned, expert professionals.
This group is independent team of leading engineers and scientists, collaborating to assist building owners and occupants in addressing the risks and benefits of ventilation systems in chemical, biological, and radiological attacks.
Collectively, the group's experience spans over 200 years with specific experience and expertise in ventilation systems' engineering. Our team of experts has individual specialties in the following areas:
ˇ Ventilation Systems Design Engineering
ˇ Field Test Engineering
ˇ Forensic Investigations
ˇ Dust/Vapor Control
ˇ Fluid Mechanics
ˇ Threat Assessment
ˇ On-Site Testing Of Ventilation and Related Building Mechanical Systems
ˇ Air and Hydronic Systems Balancing
The group is available for general consultation on the subject or specific consultation and project development for individual buildings or facilities.
VENTILATION SECURITY CONSULTANTING
From initial survey and concept development through start-up and commissioning, Russell C. Campbell Company provides complete protective ventilation systems project-engineering services that include:
ˇ Threat Assessment Consulting
ˇ Performance Testing of Existing Systems
ˇ On-Site Investigations and Surveys
ˇ Design Engineering For Retrofit Of Existing Facilities
ˇ New Construction Design Consulting
ˇ Construction Management and Supervision
ˇ System Commissioning and Re-Commissioning
ˇ Air and Hydronic Systems Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing
ˇ In-Place Air Filter Testing
We also perform as an independent testing and commissioning agency, providing building owners with critical, third party validation and acceptance testing of systems designed and constructed by others.