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However, when high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and/or activated carbon adsorbers are used, the overall costs will generally increase substantially. 3. Ducted and non-ducted return air systems. Ducted returns offer limited access points to introduce a chemical, biological or radiological agent. The return vents can be placed in conspicuous Building Vulnerability 31 locations, reducing the risk of an agent being secretly introduced into the return system. Non-ducted return air systems commonly use hallways or spaces above dropped ceilings as a return-air path or plenum.
Access to roofs should be strictly controlled through keyed locks, keycards, or similar measures. Fire and life safety egress should be carefully reviewed when restricting roof access. 4. Implement security measures, such as guards, alarms and cameras to protect vulnerable areas. Difficult to reach outdoor air intakes and mechanical rooms alone may not stop a sufficiently determined person. Security personnel, barriers that deter loitering, intrusion detection sensors and observation cameras can further increase protection by quickly alerting personnel to security breaches near the outdoor air intakes or other vulnerable locations.
In addition to proper filter or sorbent selection, several other issues must be considered before filtration systems are installed or upgraded. These issues include filter bypass, cost and the building envelope. • Filter bypass is a common problem found in many HVAC filtration systems. Filter bypass occurs when air moves around the filter, rather than through the filter. This decreases collection efficiency and defeats the intended purpose of the filtration system. Filter bypass is often caused by poorly fitting filters, poor sealing of filters in their framing systems, missing filter panels, or leaks and openings in the air-handling unit between the filter bank and blower.