As healthcare providers work to meet the demands of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, healthcare designers are offering valuable support for healthcare clients, the government, and other A/E professionals by educating, advising, and warning about life safety concerns.

Traci Hanegan, PE, FASHRAE, Spokane principal mechanical engineer, chair of ASHRAE’s healthcare facilities technical committee (TC 9.6) and, member of ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force has been working with other professionals and organizations to share guidance that can be implemented immediately to help hospitals and clinics cope. 

ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Established

Traci Hanegan is part of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force that met for the first time on March 29th, 2020. The task force is developing resources to address the current epidemic and prepare for others as it pertains to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning on disease transmission. The task force will also provide recommendations on transitioning facilities into temporary field hospitals.

The group’s nine voting members and five corresponding members have backgrounds in health care facility design, commercial building design, occupational health, medicine, aerosol science, air and surface disinfection, and other relevant areas. The task force is chaired by 2013-14 ASHRAE Presidential Member William Bahnfleth, Ph.D., P.E.

Technical resources

Visit for ASHRAE’s healthcare facilities technical committee COVID-19 guidance document.

ASHRAE launched a website of technical resources to address the challenges of COVID-19 as it relates to the effects of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems on disease transmission in healthcare facilities, the workplace, home, public, and transportation environments. Visit:

Recent articles from Engineering News Record (ENR):

For more information on the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force including resources and updates, visit the ASHRAE COVID-19 Preparedness Resources webpage at