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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, December 18, 2020

Tennessee Aquarium upgrades HVAC systems for safety




The Tennessee Aquarium has completed an infrastructural project to increase air circulating volume throughout its buildings while improving air filtration.

The Aquarium recently was awarded a Tennessee Community CARES Program grant to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. It used the majority of the money to upgrade existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems within its buildings.

The Aquarium purchased 10 HVAC units. It installed eight units in the River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings and two units in the ticketing center and administration buildings.

“These new units will increase airflow and air quality within our buildings,” says Rodney Fuller, the Aquarium’s director of facilities and maintenance. “The units are equipped with ultraviolet-C light filters, which help disinfect the air.”

These lights are sometimes called “germicidal” lamps because UVC radiation has been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria, such as tuberculosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports, “UVC radiation might also be effective in inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that causes the COVID-19.”

Since reopening to guests in June, the Aquarium has adopted a suite of health protocols developed in consultation with infectious disease specialists. These include mask requirements for guests over age 12, timed-entry tickets and capacity limits.

“The science tells us increased airflow and better filtration reduces the risk of exposure,” Fuller says. “As a nonprofit, we were grateful to receive the funding to add another layer of safety for our guests, staff and volunteers.”

Source: Tennessee Aquarium