This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Mitigating Spread of Airborne Viruses in Future Buildings: Guidelines for Designers and Facility Managers




Salman, Amna

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Building Science

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2/Coronavirus Disease 2019) has affected all trades in the built environment, but Facilities Management (FM) was impacted significantly. Based on anecdotal evidence, the facility managers lacked the knowledge on effectively minimizing and mitigating the spread of the virus and could not maintain the full functionality of buildings. Many FM organizations immediately created a “Task Force” to come up with viable solutions. Many measures were taken, however, most of these measures were reactive measures and their effectiveness is not fully known. In light of potential future outbreaks, epidemics, or pandemics, it is imperative to implement proactive measures that prioritize the health and safety of building occupants. Current research proposes layers of defense in the post-pandemic era for the new buildings which should involve close collaboration among the architects, facility managers, mechanical engineers, healthcare professionals, epidemiologists, virologists, and builders. There is a need for multidisciplinary research to explore those practices. Existing literature recommends engineering controls, design controls, air disinfection strategies, and the use of the latest air purification technologies. Hence, this research aims to identify crucial mitigation strategies for airborne viruses and formulate comprehensive guidelines to assist designers and facility managers in the design and maintenance of future buildings. The proposed guidelines will be a useful resource for architects and facility managers, offering guidance and a structured approach to assess and enhance critical elements in future buildings that play a key role in airborne virus mitigation.