The Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA) has written to all state treasurers seeking to make HVAC an essential service during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Describing HVAC as critical building infrastructure, AMCA provided a long list of the services dependent on HVAC including:

Construction and fit-out of new and redeveloped healthcare facilities;

Operation of data centres, telecommunications facilities and cloud-computing;

Air purification for hospitals, laboratories and other sensitive environments;

Fire and smoke control systems; 

Ventilation and indoor air quality for building occupants;

Maintenance and microbiol control (e.g. legionella in cooling towers);

Heating and cooling for comfort, wellbeing and productivity; 

Climate control and air quality for commercial facilities (e.g. offices, warehouse, etc.);  Access and egress of critical plan.

“We also encourage government to consider both the maintenance of these systems, as well as the continuation of new building projects, as essential services during the shutdown,” the letter said.

“While maintenance is critical to health, safety and building performance, the continuation of new building projects can play an important role in the state’s ability to rebound from the public health crisis in future months.”

The industry group’s executive director, Sumit Oberoi, said AMCA members have begun engaging with clients to initiate plans that would minimise the risk of transmission. 

“Most maintenance activities are carried out by a single individual and can be performed in compliance with social distancing guidelines,” Oberoi said.

“Technicians travel independently in service vehicles, and activities can also be scheduled at times that eliminate or minimise interaction with building occupants. 

“AMCA members involved in the construction of new buildings have also initiated plans to coordinate and schedule activities that minimise the risk of transmission.”

AMCA has joined more than a dozen HVACR industry groups around the globe calling for essential service recognition throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

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