In response to the complex challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, IDEA has convened a Working Group to help our members and other affected individuals get essential resources and information you need to help you navigate this unprecedented event. We are all learning that you just can't be prepared enough for an event like this and it is best if we all work together to come up with solutions.
Check back on this web page often for the latest information.
COVID-19 is at the front of everyone’s mind and is driving changes in everyone’s operations. We are all faced with the dilemma of how to best serve our facilities and campuses in this current environment. Campuses have continued to react and address current challenges and ongoing uncertainties including changes to facility operations. This results in changing loads and load profiles from historical patterns on campus, which possibly translates to different generation and distribution needs for the various utilities. Continuing to reliably and efficiently operate the central and distributed utility systems to meet those needs creates potential challenges that are resulting in significant impacts for many campuses.The webinar is focused on lessons learned and sharing the knowledge gained to date from leading institutions including Auburn University, New York Presbyterian, University of Denver, and University of Missouri, from both the design, management, and operations of campus utility systems. The presenters’ insights will be beneficial both for current operations as well as operations this winter and spring and the associated challenges that are expected to affect budgets, operations, and utility costs.
Source: New York Times - Thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to emerge on college campuses. A New York Times survey of more than 1,700 American colleges and universities — including every four-year public institution and every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports — has revealed more than 178,000 cases and at least 70 deaths since the pandemic began.The New York Times is tracking coronavirus cases on campuses through a rolling survey. Their web page will be updated periodically.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, many campuses across the nation were forced to quickly shut down and become what is known as a “quiet campus.”
Managing these unpopulated buildings while bracing for the reopening into a new normal is forcing building managers to reevaluate the approaches and technologies used to manage the complex mechanical and electrical systems across each campus.
Fever screening at facilities has turned into an important method to assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19. Yet, many business might not be using the best methods to do so. The article below highlights comprehensive reasoning for doing it right and doing it now through Thermal Infrared Imaging as buildings and campuses begin to re-open.
Johnson Controls, a technology company, has launched OpenBlue, a new digital platform that powers an innovative suite of solutions with more than 20 tailored services across HVAC, fire protection and security.
The platform infuses the OpenBlue suite of solutions and services with award-winning AI-powered service solutions, combining data from both inside and outside of buildings, says the company.
“The launch of OpenBlue is a radical approach to dynamic spaces,” said Phil Clement, vice president and chief marketing officer, Johnson Controls. “The brand identity was created with a number of factors in mind: Open refers to an optimistic future and the platform’s open architecture to enable products to work with various solutions. The color blue is core to Johnson Controls branding for the past 135 years and gives a nod to our strong heritage in the buildings space.”
Using OpenBlue, customers are said to be able to:
If you would like to contribute to the IDEA Working Group, please email email@example.com. Your expertise is welcome!
As August begins against a backdrop of surging COVID-19 cases across the country, many campuses are adjusting to incorporate virtual and physical plans for re-opening. To help our IDEA community, we would like to bring the group back together for an update on strategies planned on your campus to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, including new procedures you have adopted. We will discuss planning, risk assessment and collective thoughts on preparing for the winter heating season.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
IDEA Connect is our online chatroom where you can pose a question about the challenges you're facing in dealing with COVID-19 in your workplace, or join in an existing conversation to share expertise with others. And, if you are in need of urgent assistance (perhaps looking for a critical part you can't get for your system), please post We encourage you to connect with the IDEA community today through IDEA Connect.
In the interest of supporting IDEA members and the district energy community during the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed and sent out the IDEA COVID-19 Emergency Operations Survey to help track operations, best practices and safety strategies during these unprecedented times. We are pleased to share the results with you below.
As Federal, State and Local officials continue to issue public health directives at a rapid pace, IDEA will keep track of those that could affect your workplace. Please click the links below for more information, and forward any updates specific to your community to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organization Multi-State has published a Policy Tracker section of their website that highlights state and local activity, stay-at-home orders, and state legislation in response to COVID-19. It is quite extensive and recommended as a quick resource for the latest information.
IDEA President & CEO Rob Thornton, Tonja Leach, Executive Director, Quest and Carlyle Coutinho, President & COO, Enwave co-signed a letter encouraging the Canadian Federal Government to consider investments in district energy as a integral part of future stimulus packages. You can read a copy of the letter below.
IDEA submitted a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recommending that district energy systems be added to the listing of essential infrastructure workforce. Download a copy of the letter for your own use locally.
Update: May 19, 2020
On May 19, 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released version 3.1 of its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Version 3.1 provides clarity around many individual worker categories, including expanded language for those workers supporting at-risk communities and the essential nature of health facility workers in communities across the country. This list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered, a federal directiveor standard. Please note the second item in the "Energy" section on page 9 of the PDF of the guide, shown below.
IDEA is honored to serve to nearly 2500 members worldwide, many of whom are willing to share resources and ideas on behalf of the industry. Below are resources we have received from IDEA members that might help you as you look to implement policies and procedures in your workplace.
If you have resources you would like to share, please send to email@example.com.
Engie has shared their "Fight COVID-19" plan to help their communities in a number of ways. We are happy to share it below.
Ever-Green Energy - Critical Infrastructure Worker Transit Worker
As more and more states institute emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, it may become important for you to petition local, state and federal government to recognize your work as 'mission critical' and your employees as 'essential'. In response, Ever-Green Energy created an Infrastructure Transit letter for employees as proof to local authorities that their work is essential. Read it below.
Enwave - Information Sharing through Sharepoint
In an effort to simplify communications with staff during an ever-evolving crisis, Enwave has created a Sharepoint file with relevant updates in areas like Prevention, Symptoms and Resources. By placing these resources in an internal Sharepoint file, any updates to information will be pushed to staff in real time. View a screen shot of Enwave's Sharepoint home page below.
Enwave has also generously provided three documents designed to help employers and managers mitigate risk in the current climate. You can download the Manager's Tool Kit, along with Employee Travel and Employee Sick Logs by clicking below.
University of Delaware - Interview with EAB
EAB spoke to three Facilities leaders whose campuses have already undergone this change: Brent Stringfellow, AVP of Facilities at Lehigh University; a Senior Facilities Officer at a Private University in New York ; and Peter Krawchyk, VP of Facilities, Real Estate, and Auxiliary Services at University of Delaware. Below is an edited transcript of our conversations.
Austin Energy - Essential Operations Memo
Austin Energy shares a memo sent to essential operations staff about their value - and safety - during unprecedented times.
The University of Texas at Austin
DeNora Water Technologies - Hypochlorite Generator
De Nora Water Technologies has small-scale, compact, portable hypochlorite generators available that generate a chlorine-based bleach solution that will stabilize your bleach supplies, while making your district energy or campus power plant less reliant on commercial bleach solutions that may be in short supply due to the ongoing COVID 19 crisis. De Nora Water Technologies has current system installations throughout campus power plants across the US, eliminating the need to transport and or handle chemicals, while maintaining a very safe and economical method to produce. De Nora also has a similar system indicated for residential and small institutional or commercial use available for IDEA members. For more information, please contact Steve Garcia at 505 977 3630.
Vortex Companies - Hand Sanitizer
The Vortex Companies is manufacturing its own line of hand sanitizer, known as crew CARE™ with the following benefits:
Discounts are available for IDEA members! To order, please or order online at https://shopTRENCHLESS.com using the code IDEA10, or contact Matt Badiali, VP of Industrial Sales, at 857-203-1998 for bulk order. Lead time is one week to ship.
Across the globe, schools and universities have been forced to shut their doors to protect students and teachers and to slow the spread of coronavirus. But could they play a vital role in defeating COVID-19? Tufts University has transformed parts of its campus into a military-style hospital to treat the infected, and students are now using their skills to support the healthcare system. Walter Isaacson of Amanpour and Company speaks with the university’s president, Anthony Monaco, about their efforts. (credit, Amanpour and Company).
Also from Tufts -
U.M.C. is giving back to the community by creating portable handwashing stations that can be transported anywhere.
ASHRAE has Issued two statements on relationship between COVID-19 and HVAC in buildings, in response to widening false statements surrounding HVAC systems. ASHRAE officially opposes the advice not to run residential or commercial HVAC systems and asserts that keeping air conditioners on during this time can help control the spread of the virus. The official statements and other resources are included on their website and can be accessed by clicking the link below.
(published July 22, 2020)
American Association of Architects
Below are additional resources that IDEA or other IDEA members and contacts have provided from outside sources that might be of value.
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