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Old 15.03.2020, 17:17
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Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

I was just reminded of this "small" concern today as I was opening a window in my apartment on this sunny beautiful day. With Minergie standard, as far as I know, the air is circulated throughout the building to conserve energy. I was wondering if this increases the risk of airborne microbial transmissions.

In Minergie buildings, we're advised not to have wet clothes indoors as the humid air circulating through the apartments can spread molds. This means, the air itself is re-circulated and not renewed with heat exchanger (stale hot air used to heat up fresh cold air). If this is true, isn't there a risk that microbes too are getting re-circulated throughout the building?

Perhaps I am needlessly paranoid, but my apartment complex is quite large (100+ dwellings), and this way, I don't want to be indirectly be in contact with 200-400 people constantly, many of whom happen to be flight attendants / airline staff
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Old 15.03.2020, 17:24
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

Coronavirus has not been proven to be airborne and it is considered as not.
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Old 15.03.2020, 17:39
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

Nothing to stop you from opening windows though- oder?
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Old 15.03.2020, 18:30
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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Nothing to stop you from opening windows though- oder?
Opening windows is not recommended in minergie buildings, it rather defeats the object of the system.
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Old 15.03.2020, 18:33
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

Well yes- but ... TBH I could never ever consider living in a place where windows could not be opened- I am a fresh air freak- sleep with window opened all winter. If person is concerned- then nobody can stop them opening windows, oder?
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Old 15.03.2020, 18:40
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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Well yes- but ... TBH I could never ever consider living in a place where windows could not be opened- I am a fresh air freak- sleep with window opened all winter. If person is concerned- then nobody can stop them opening windows, oder?
Me neither. Some of them donít have the option to open the windows but if they do then of course nothing is stopping them from doing it.
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Old 15.03.2020, 21:46
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

I would imagine that the system has some sort of filter so it probably worth contacting the hauswart to get it changed or what the maintenance schedule is.
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Old 15.03.2020, 22:09
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

HEPA filters, like the airlines use, will remove over 99.9% of airborne viruses. Make sure that is what your building is using. (My goodness, some Dyson vacuum cleaners use HEPA filters! they arenít expensive)
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Old 15.03.2020, 22:31
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

Unless you never clean it, then it is spreading more than it's cleaning.
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Old 16.03.2020, 11:02
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

My understanding is that minergie houses use heat exchangers to transfer heat from extracted air to the incoming air. The air isn't totally static. Though I agree opening the windows for a few minutes a couple of times a day probably makes sense.
On a similar but slightly different note, I don't understand the logic behind requiring over-65s to stay locked in at home. We currently have beautiful spring weather conditions, ideal for going for walks, which I'm sure are much healthier than been locked down in a coronavirus inducing environment at home. I really don't see how going for a walk can allow you to contract flu (unless obviously if you end up at the pub).
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Old 16.03.2020, 11:34
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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My understanding is that minergie houses use heat exchangers to transfer heat from extracted air to the incoming air. The air isn't totally static. Though I agree opening the windows for a few minutes a couple of times a day probably makes sense.
On a similar but slightly different note, I don't understand the logic behind requiring over-65s to stay locked in at home. We currently have beautiful spring weather conditions, ideal for going for walks, which I'm sure are much healthier than been locked down in a coronavirus inducing environment at home. I really don't see how going for a walk can allow you to contract flu (unless obviously if you end up at the pub).
I took it that the elderly should avoid social or other contact so no visiting friends or shopping etc but going for a walk would be fine and health-wise, definitely beneficial.
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Old 16.03.2020, 12:02
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

mmmmmm, no.

I live in a Minergie certified apartment building finished on 2018. The Minergie certification comes from a lower energy consumption to heat the apartment and water for shower/sink. So, it is related to:
  1. well insulated double windows
  2. well insulated walls
  3. some renewable energy source for heating (near-surface geothermal, solar heaters, renewable wood pellets, etc).
  4. more efficient heating = floor heating.
Floor heating only recirculates the air already inside your apartment. I don't even listen to what my neighbors are doing because there are not air vents and doors have the rubber seals.There is no risk in staying in your apartment.

Last edited by Axa; 16.03.2020 at 12:52.
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Old 16.03.2020, 12:51
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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Me neither. Some of them donít have the option to open the windows but if they do then of course nothing is stopping them from doing it.
So those flats would have no balconies/terraces?
However, I feel claustrophobic in rooms with "un-openable" windows, even if the place is big.

As to the remark <<Coronavirus has not been proven to be airborne and it is considered as not. >> In the interview video someone posted on the Corona thread (no, I'm not gonna search though that one now ) the guy clearly said "it's the air you breath" and people don't really need to sneeze at you.

Back to "minergie", I'm old fashioned enough to believe that no matter how well air is filtered it still doesn't beat fresh air from outside.
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Old 16.03.2020, 13:33
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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On a similar but slightly different note, I don't understand the logic behind requiring over-65s to stay locked in at home. We currently have beautiful spring weather conditions, ideal for going for walks, which I'm sure are much healthier than been locked down in a coronavirus inducing environment at home. I really don't see how going for a walk can allow you to contract flu (unless obviously if you end up at the pub).
Advice from my friend who is a US physician.

If you can get outside and walk in a less crowded area it’s fine. Just stay 2meters away from people. It’s even ok if you’re “elderly” to shop, just try to stay away from others - so go at non peak times. Wash your hands after you bring in your bags and wash your hands after you put away food. Pretty standard common sense stuff, right.

We live in one of these terrace flats. I have the windows open all the time. I would go nuts without open windows.
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Old 16.03.2020, 18:59
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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If person is concerned- then nobody can stop them opening windows, oder?
Minergie has nothing to do with opening windows. The only "restrictions" to be observed are reg. drying wet clothes indoors - which is anyway foolish to do if there're laundry rooms available in the building. However, not sure how that's worse than opening a window if it's raining outside or with 90+% humidity outdoors.

Secondly, a statement followed by "oder" doesn't change it to a question, neither in English nor German But agreed that it sounds comically cute.
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Old 16.03.2020, 20:14
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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......Secondly, a statement followed by "oder" doesn't change it to a question, neither in English nor German But agreed that it sounds comically cute.
Eeehhm, yes it does. "Oder?" is a "do you agree?" or a "am I wrong?" or "Am I right on this?" and not the English "isn't it".

And then of course there are people who use the "oder" after every bloody sentence and it's more a quirk than a proper use of the word. And those you would treat like the English "how do you do?" = do not reply.
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Old 18.03.2020, 18:43
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

With Minergie standard, fresh air is continually brought in from outside, hence you should NOT open a window, it will disrupt the flow...

The fresh air from outside goes through a heat exchanger. Think is a honey comb metal box in the shape of an X, the fresh air does not touch the air that is sucked out of your house, but through heat exchange is warmed up as the two pass through the box.
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Old 19.03.2020, 18:48
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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The fresh air from outside goes through a heat exchanger. Think is a honey comb metal box in the shape of an X, the fresh air does not touch the air that is sucked out of your house, but through heat exchange is warmed up as the two pass through the box.
Any corroborating official link? Or just based on "what I know". Earlier, someone also wrote with great authority that the virus is not airborne. It's kinda annoying how people just feel compelled to write whatever as if they're paid to post. By the way, standard English reply to "How do you do" is "How do you do".
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Old 19.03.2020, 20:02
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

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Any corroborating official link? Or just based on "what I know". Earlier, someone also wrote with great authority that the virus is not airborne. It's kinda annoying how people just feel compelled to write whatever as if they're paid to post. By the way, standard English reply to "How do you do" is "How do you do".
It is kinda annoying how people just feel compelled to make forum members and total strangers to go do their research and provide links.
I realize the pubs are closed, where you probably normally ask your technical questions about things maybe 20% of the population actually live with.

If you seriously want to know how the system works, it is quite easy to google - or duckduck or what ever - it. I did it a few years ago when I was interested.
Of course I wouldn't dare to tell you the results. I might be human and have forgotten a detail or two.
You're always welcome to report back as your info will be fresh and up to date.

Hmm, guess that was one of my Milly Jackson's I had to say it. (But I stuck to the language rules here )
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Last edited by curley; 19.03.2020 at 21:35. Reason: typos ...
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Old 20.03.2020, 20:03
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Re: Minergie standard and airborne viruses like Coronavirus

I am trying to get a reply out of our landlord as we are in a minergie block and as far as I know they have not installed hepa or equivalent filters to the system. They are dragging their feet with the answer as it obviously going to cost something to change the system. After ten months in a minergie flat. I am not impressed from the air quality side - very necessary to open windows and we do sometimes dry clothes in the flat, which has the positive effect of increasing the too low humidity in winter. Not sure if these problem are peculiar to our building or to these recycled air systems in general.
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