Blog, Mechanical Engineering

COVID-19 and Its Impact on Mechanical Design

October 1, 2020
A group of air conditioners on top of a building.

As COVID-19 continues to impact lives across the globe, many businesses are looking to the future, questioning how can they keep their employees and clients safe in a post-pandemic world?

From a MEP perspective, there’s a multitude of options to consider. For our firm, we’ve most recently employed principles typically used in hospital ambulatory codes in two of our current senior living projects: one located in Princeton, NJ and the other in Dublin, PA. In discussion with our client, we understood the importance in mitigating airflow between rooms and common areas to help stop the spread of infectious diseases. We opted to positively pressurize the corridors in relation to the dwelling units and common spaces, inhibiting the air from mixing and contaminating other areas throughout the facility.

According to a June 2020 article by Infection Control Today, “negative pressure rooms with lower air pressure allows outside air into the room; [forcing] any air that flows out of the room has to pass through a filter. By contrast, a positive pressure room maintains a higher pressure inside the treated area than that outside it. Clean filtered air is pumped in; if there’s a leak, the air is forced out of the room … Negative pressure rooms are common in infection control, to ensure infectious germs don’t spread via the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.”

Other noteworthy options include:

Although much remains unknown about COVID-19, it is clear that it is here for the foreseeable future. As such, we predict that mechanical codes will become increasingly more stringent in order to combat the spread. In the days, months and years ahead, MEP firms like VP Engineering will continue adapt, committed to doing our part in eradicating COVID-19.


About VP Engineering

VP Engineering is a top Charlotte-based MEP design firm offering engineering expertise in senior living, multi-family, hospitality, and retail/commercial markets worldwide. With experience in a wide range of building types, our MEP engineering services help keep projects on budget and achieve your goals. Learn more at