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Facilities Management (FM) Sunrise Support

The following outlines FM’s services provided and guidance in support of the University of Minnesota Sunrise Plan.

Building Signage

FM is responsible for posting COVID-19 messaging in public areas of buildings including exterior doors, entrances, lobbies, restrooms, entrances, and lobbies. The following messaging has or is being posted:

Further directional/restrictive signage is allowed within college/departmental specific spaces (offices, kitchens, labs) that are the non-public areas listed above. Go to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 to download posters for "do my part," handwashing, masks, study areas and breakrooms.

Hand Sanitizers

Each building entry lobby area will have a wall mount or free standing hand sanitizer dispenser installed and refilled regularly. Requests for supplemental dispensers in other public spaces go through the FM Call Center fmcc@umn.edu / (612) 624-2900. FM is supplying scheduled general purpose and departmental classrooms and study spaces with disinfectant pop-up wipes. 

Building Traffic Guidelines

Stay to the right in public traffic areas including building entrances, hallways, corridors, stairwells, lobbies and tunnels. Hallways and stairwells may not be restricted to one-way traffic due to building egress requirements.

    • Restrooms: observe physical distancing particularly at restroom entrances and at close quarters
      • Do not post individual/departmental signs restricting usage for public restrooms as single occupancy (this does not apply to departmental restrooms)
      • Receptacles will be placed closer to restroom entrances wherever possible
    • Elevators: stairwell usage is encouraged to avoid congestion
      • Adjust occupancy per trip to maintain safe physical distancing. "Stop the Spread of COVID-19" elevator capacity signage is being posted by FM staff. Guidance to determine acceptable loading levels was provided by the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII).
      • Do not post individual/departmental signs restricting usage
    • Escalators: adjust spacing to maintain safe physical distancing

Housekeeping

Regular housekeeping practices are being enhanced by FM, including routine cleaning and sanitizing of work surfaces, equipment, tools, and machinery, and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunchrooms, and meeting rooms. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing is being conducted in high-touch areas, such as controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, etc. See FM Maroon Standards.

    • All custodial staff and their supervisors have been provided refresher training on proper cleaning techniques, as well as background information on COVID-19. Click here to review the custodial training guidance and product use document.
    • All cleaning products meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.
    • FM teams clean spaces such as building lobbies, restrooms, drinking fountains, door push bars, door handles, handrails, stair railings and elevator buttons at least once daily, and more frequently if deemed necessary.
    • For shared departmental equipment, such as phones, keyboards, and copiers, individual users will be responsible to clean these surfaces prior to individual use. Units can order the necessary cleaning supplies from U Market.
    • Departmentally owned spaces such as labs will continue to be primarily serviced by the lab occupants, as they had been doing prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. MDH guidelines should inform cleaning frequencies.
    • FM Maroon Standards continue for cleaning: clinics daily, research labs 3x/week, offices weekly.
    • FM is supplying scheduled general purpose and departmental classrooms and study spaces with disinfectant pop-up wipes. In partnership with other University departments, FM continues planning for the resumption of operations including classrooms, study areas, and teaching and computer labs.

For areas with confirmed or reported COVID-19 cases, see University Health & Safety - Cleaning Work Areas Occupied by a COVID-19 Case.

Please visit U Market to order available PPE and supplies for departmental use.

Workspace Modifications

Office Environments - Visit CPM Guidelines - Physical Distancing Office Environments for guidelines to help groups plan for return to work in office environments around campus, includes work environment examples. Requests for modifications may be placed through the FM Call Center fmcc@umn.edu/ (612) 624-2900. Departments are responsible for the cost.

Partitions - Visit UHS Partition Guidance to learn about using partitions and barriers in University spaces to limit the spread of COVID-19. There are various options customizable to meet a variety of spaces and needs. Use the Partition Decision Checklist to determine if a partition is the best solution. Partitions may be ordered through the FM Call Center fmcc@umn.edu / (612) 624-2900. Departments are responsible for the cost.

Classrooms - Click here for explanations and guidelines from the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) on physical distancing modeling and recommendations for classrooms.

HVAC System Analysis and Modifications

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have issued guidance for operating  Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems while pandemic conditions exist.

A Campus Sunrise HVAC Workgroup was formed that included Facilities Management (FM), University Health and Safety (DEHS), and faculty experts to identify strategies to mitigate the risk of virus transmission through HVAC systems, based on industry best practices and supporting research. Facilities Management is implementing the Campus Sunrise HVAC Workgroup recommendations.

Classroom and Libraries Overview

A detailed analysis of large group settings, such as classrooms and library spaces, is complete and actions taken to minimize risk of virus transmission are summarized below:

Extended building operations

          • Building ventilation systems are now scheduled to operate continuously around the clock each day, eliminating the non-occupied periods shutdown of systems 
          • Demand control ventilation systems which provide outside air according to space CO2 levels and occupancy sensors have been bypassed which results in the systems operating 24/7
          • Cleaning schedules for instructional and study spaces have been enhanced

Enhanced filtration

          • HVAC air handling systems are systematically having higher performance MERV-13 installed in place of MERV-8 rated filters where possible, increasing filtration efficiency of recirculated air in hot and cold weather
          • Portable filtration units, to recirculate space air through HEPA filters, will be installed in non-mechanically (naturally) ventilated classrooms

Increased outdoor air

          • FM engineering teams have evaluated HVAC systems to ensure their proper function according to current ventilation standards.
          • The amount of outdoor air provided by HVAC systems has been increased, as practical and limited by design capacity, to limit use of recirculated air as much as possible
          • Windows in naturally ventilated classrooms will be opened between classes as appropriate for the weather conditions 

The HVAC for other Non-Healthcare building spaces such as conference rooms, corridors, and toilet spaces are not considered large group settings, and systems serving these space types will continue to operate normally.

Office Space Overview

An analysis of large open office space is complete and actions for the campus community’s return to worksites are summarized below:

Extended building operations

          • Ventilation systems are operating continuously each day
          • Demand control ventilation (providing outside air according to CO2 levels) and occupancy sensors have been bypassed
          • Cleaning schedules for instructional and study spaces have been enhanced

Enhanced filtration

          • HVAC air handling systems have a plan to systematically install MERV-13 rated filters, increasing filtration efficiency of recirculated air in hot and cold weather

Increased outdoor air

          • The amount of outdoor air has been increased, as practical and limited by design capacity, particularly in mild weather (using less recirculated air)

Additional space types including private offices, office suites, conference rooms, corridors, and toilet spaces are not considered large group settings and ventilation systems serving these space types will continue to operate normally.

Laboratories and Clinical spaces Overview

Laboratory and clinical spaces were not a focus of the work group’s scope due to the different code requirements for those spaces which exceed the CDC and ASHRAE guidance related to COVID-19 risk. It is expected that laboratory managers will develop plans for maintaining physical distancing and issue guidance to lab personnel regarding the use of face covering. Clinic spaces are governed by health care codes that directly address infectious disease and hazardous aerosol control. Clinic managers should follow current codes and best practices for airborne infectious disease management.

Performance Based Labs (PBL) spaces currently meet the guidelines set forth by the campus Sunrise planning as it relates to HVAC operation and ventilation rates.  

Residential Life Overview

An analysis of residential spaces is complete and actions for the Campus Sunrise period are summarized below:

Extended building operations

          • Ventilation systems continue to operate continuously each day
          • Demand control ventilation (providing outside air according to CO2 levels) and occupancy sensors have been bypassed
          • Cleaning schedules for dining and study spaces have been enhanced

Enhanced filtration

          • HVAC air handling systems have a plan to systematically install MERV-13 rated filters, increasing filtration efficiency of recirculated air in hot and cold weather

Increased outdoor air

          • The amount of outdoor air has been increased, as practical and limited by design capacity, particularly in mild weather (using less recirculated air)

Additional space types including sleeping rooms, lounge spaces, conference rooms, corridors, and toilet spaces are not considered large group settings and ventilation systems serving these space types will continue to operate normally.

  Click here to read the complete HVAC working group report.

Potable Water

FM staff is flushing building water fixtures (sink faucets, showers, drinking fountains and bottle fillers) ensuring they are within published standards. Departments are recommended to flush ice and coffee makers to ensure a fresh water supply. Drinking fountain bottle filling stations are in service and posted with sigange "bottle filling only." All other drinking fountains are posted as "out of service."

FM Staff Behavior and Everyone’s Personal Responsibility

FM staff practices physical distancing and follows recommended behavioral guidelines. They carry masks and are expected to wear them at all times when in buildings unless they are alone in their cube, office or shop. We all play a part in keeping each other safe. For more general Information on how to protect yourself, others, our University environment, and all other environments, visit the following:

University Health & Safety - COVID-19 Workplace Safety Training and Resources
CDC - How to Protect Yourself & Others
MDH - Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19

Submit questions, comments, feedback related to FM services and guidance provided on this webpage.