RoMBIS Lunch and Learn, VA+ presents: Re-opening schools safely during COVID-19

 In COVID-19 response

VA+ is presenting at noon MT, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at RoMBIS!
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VA+ is the BIM consulting division of Vertical Arts, a Colorado design firm with offices in Denver, Steamboat Springs and Edwards.  We are currently assisting UniversityPrep, an elementary school within Denver Public Schools, as they make preparations for in-person instruction.  We have spent several weeks developing tools and workflows centered around pdf floor plans, CAD files, BIM files and mobility simulation software.

In this process we have helped them evaluate:

  1. Safer classrooms
    1. Showed classroom layouts with various circulation and social distancing standards to help them determine how many students per classroom they could have while meeting current safety standards.
  2. Safer circulation
    1. Designed circulation to be one-way and not cross cohorts.
  3. Safer arrivals and dismissals
    1. Using classroom loads and safer circulation we helped them evaluate the best number of entrances to use for arrivals and dismissals.
      1. Simulated flow to find potentially unsafe circulation and other social distancing challenges.
      2. Evaluated the need and benefit for staggered arrivals and dismissals.
  • Provided a framework for staffing demand and special logistic communication needs (walkie-talkie channels)
  1. Safer Air (FUTURE)
    1. We are looking for mechanical engineers that can interact with our density planning tool, an Autodesk Revit family-based tool. Autodesk Revit is a CAD/BIM software package that architects, and engineers routinely use. Our tool can be used to represent students so an engineer can analyze the airflow and aerosol transmission potential with current HVAC and classroom layouts, and from this determine what HVAC mitigations are effective.  As recent news indicates this could be helpful in providing safer indoor environments, but depending upon the situation, purpose-built solutions could take a long time and a lot of money to implement, neither of which is in great supply given the current state of affairs.
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