GERM Fresh 

︎ Principal Investigator: Peter Yeadon
︎ Student Collaborator: Lea Hershkowitz
︎ Partners: Yeadon Space Agency, NYU Langone Medical Center, NBBJ New York
︎ Support: RISD Research, Yeadon Space Agency

Mechanical systems in healthcare environments gather and redistribute microbes, causing a greater concentration of potential pathogens than one would find in patient rooms with open windows. Hence the GERM Fresh research project focused on design concepts for a new, controllable means of introducing plant-treated “fresh” air into highly regulated hospital environments.

Eleven design criteria informed a series of studies and simulations, ranging from airflow and plant type, to building systems integration, manufacturability, and installation/maintenance. We also sought external consultations and peer review assessment of the project.

Schematic designs for three basic types of planted air diffusers were completed: a point diffuser, a liner slot diffuser, and an area diffuser. The air is controlled so that it flows through the plants and into the room, or is diverted away from the plants and is delivered into the room as purely mechanical air, or is supplied as a proportioned mixture of the two.

Peer review revealed some critical challenges in achieving the objectives of the project, but also produced a number of recommendations regarding new directions the work might take.

This work was supported by a RISD Research Summer Bridge Grant and Yeadon Space Agency, which continued to advance the research project. You can read more about it here.

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