Skip to main content

Building HVAC

Spring 2022 Update: What is UGA doing to help improve the HVAC ventilation, reliability, and indoor air quality?

UGA is taking active many steps to evaluate and improve HVAC systems on campus. Following CDC, DPH and HVAC industry guidelines.  Since our last update we have:

  • Updated our interactive project map. Please click here for our interactive HVAC project map for more details about active and planned projects.
  • Completed the installation of whole-building UV disinfection devices inside of the HVAC systems at Sanford Hall, Boyd Graduate Research Center, Aderhold Hall, and the Journalism building.  These projects bring our campus up to 1.3 Million square feet of highly utilized student spaces protected with UV-C.
  • Completed a major HVAC renewal project for the R.C. Wilson building.
  • Initiated building recommissioning for 6 buildings and physically started construction for 12 building controls/optimization projects, impacting over 1.4 Million square feet of campus space.
  • In partnership with OUA, initiated a major HVAC renewal for Hill Hall, scheduled for this summer.
  • Begin the planning and design efforts for significant HVAC renewal projects for FY23, including systems serving nearly 500,000 square feet of research and academic space.

Summer 2021 Update: What is UGA doing to help improve the HVAC ventilation, reliability, and indoor air quality?

UGA is taking active many steps to evaluate and improve HVAC systems on campus. Following CDC, DPH and HVAC industry guideline, we have:

What does a whole-building UV disenfection system look like and how does it work?

Emerging research and industry best practices recognize that the UV-C wavelength inactivates virtually all microorganisms living on or passing though HVAC systems, with kill ratios of up to 99 percent, depending on the intensity of the UV-C and the length of exposure. UGA has contracted with industry experts as well as a third party independent testing agency to install, commission, and test UV-C arrays inside of the HVAC systems that serve over 1.3 Million square feet of campus buildings. UV-C arrays are not appropriate or feasible for all situations; however, buildings with large and centralized air handlers with suitable physical space to allow for installation are ideal for this application. We have prioritized the most heavily used buildings on campus, including large classroom facilities, dining commons, the Tate student center and the main library.

mlc uv installation


How does UGA heat, cool, and ventilate buildings?

The type of HVAC system in each campus building varies depending upon the system age and uses designated for the building.  All occupied buildings on campus have some form of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to provide temperature comfort, ventilation, and humidity control.
Types of systems found on our campus:
  • Centralized air handler systems (AHU’s)
  • Fan Coil Systems
  • Window air conditioning units
  • Mini-split systems & water source heat pumps
  • Variable Refrigerant (VRF) systems


What type of HVAC system is in my building?

Building specific HVAC infographics can be found HERE Please check back soon if your building is not on this list- much of this information is still under development and additional buildings are being added each week.

What is UGA doing to help improve the ventilation and indoor air quality in my building?

UGA is taking active steps to evaluate and improve many HVAC systems on campus.  Please refer to our Building HVAC Systems and COVID-19 quick reference guide (PDF) for general information. 


When is Preventive Maintenance scheduled for my building?

FMD preforms routine preventive maintenance on hundreds of HVAC building systems every month. Building HVAC systems receive quarterly, semi-annual and annual preventive maintenance. Please refer to the Preventive Maintenance Schedules for Buildings (PDF) to see when your building is listed.


What should I expect when Preventive Maintenance is performed?

Preventive Maintenance technicians inspect and adjust each HVAC system based on the quarterly, semi-annual and annual/major checklists.  Tasks include inspecting filters & replacing them (as needed), cleaning drain pan & drain lines, inspecting fans and belts, and lubricating units per the manufacturer’s instructions. Please refer to the Preventive Maintenance Handbook (PDF) for more specific information about the Preventive Maintenance tasks performed on each visit.


Can I open building windows?

Opening building windows can have many unintended consequences and is not recommended.  In addition to introducing humidity and unfiltered air into the building, opening the windows also nullifies the effectiveness of the building HVAC system. Opening even a fraction of windows in a building can penalize the HVAC performance of the entire building- not just the rooms with the open windows.


Can I use wedges or doorstops to keep doors open?

According to the Fire Marshal, State Fire Codes require that all fire doors be self-closing, self-latching and to be kept closed. Leaving doors open creates a significant safety hazard to the occupants of the building and is prohibited by the fire codes.

What can you tell me about the filtration units placed in some classrooms?

As part of the larger effort to improve indoor air quality for classrooms, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) units have installed in classrooms where other improvement strategies were not feasible. With over 130 units installed, this effort complements other initiatives that either increase the daily fresh air changes or improve filtration for more than five million square feet of academic space. The HEPA filtration systems are laboratory certified to capture 99.6% of particulates in the air that are the size of SARS-CoV-2, commonly called COVID-19. The units will filter the air in each classroom three to four times each hour, depending upon the size of the space.  For more information on the tested performance of these systems, please see the technical report (PDF)for the PuraShield 500 system