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Sanitization 101: DePaul's ventilation system improvements

The lobby of Arts and Letters Hall on the Lincoln Park Campus is configured for social distancing, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. DePaul reconfigured all of its building, offices and classrooms to comply with safety and social distancing guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
The lobby of Arts and Letters Hall on the Lincoln Park Campus is configured for social distancing. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

This article is part of the university's Sanitization 101 Series, providing the DePaul community with in-depth information on the university's COVID-19 precautions, preparations and tips on how to Take Care DePaul. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DePaul invested in and installed improved ventilation systems to ensure that when everyone returns, they are learning and working in a safe environment.

HVAC filters

DePaul's Facility Operations consulted with licensed professional heating, cooling and ventilation engineers to develop revised procedures. All HVAC filters in DePaul-owned buildings have been upgraded from filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value of eight to a MERV rating of 13 to better mitigate the spread of particles.


For a minimum of two hours before and two hours after each building's hours of operation, fan systems will circulate, dilute and filter indoor air flow. Buildings with automated HVAC systems have also been programmed to increase the amount of fresh, outside air brought into the building by a factor of two whenever possible.

Holtschneider Performance Center

The airflow in the Holtschneider Performance Center's practice rooms has been increased by an additional 100 cubic feet per minute at a minimum. This is due to the size of the rooms and because some students may not be able to wear a mask when practicing, depending on their instrument.

Please remember the virus does not travel through the air by itself. The virus is contained in respiratory droplets, making face coverings still one of the most critical tools for prevention.

Take a moment to review and commit to the DePaul Community's Health and Safety Pledge, and regularly visit the Fall 2020 website for more information, guidance and resources.  

Thank you for taking care of each other. We're all in this together.