Indoor Air Quality and Cleaning Standards

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Filtration

Bates has a portfolio of over 90 buildings on campus covering academic, athletic, residential, student life, and administrative facilities, with over 1.9 million square feet. Like many New England small colleges, there is a mix of larger and smaller, newer and older structures with a similar systems mix. In 14 buildings representing approximately 700,000 square feet we have increased the filter ratings to minimum efficiency rating value (“MERV”) level 13 or higher, deemed by ASHRAE to be efficient at capturing airborne viruses.  Outside air intake and overall air circulation through our installed systems has been optimized.

Looking across our core campus, over 70% of the Bates facilities, by square footage, are serviced by air handlers of one type or another. Over 50% of Bates’ square feet are in facilities that have filtration of MERV-13 or better. Our academic spaces in particular are almost entirely (over 90%) serviced by air systems, and nearly 70% of those square feet have MERV-13 rated filters. Over 75% of the space in athletics facilities are serviced by systems using MERV-13 filters. Our student housing is a set of over 30 buildings. Approximately a quarter of our students are in buildings with the MERV-13 filters, and approximately half of our students are in beds with air handlers and systems of some kind.  Student residence houses and buildings have operable windows for fresh air circulation.

Cleaning of Facilities and Hand Hygiene Products

Facility Services provides custodial services on campus in accordance with CDC recommendations. Cleaning protocols include the use of hospital-grade disinfectants and  EPA-registered products, applied with the proper dwell time to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Routine disinfection of high-touch surfaces reflects best practices and includes door handles, light switches, and handrails with an enhanced focus on common-use areas, such as restrooms, lounges, kitchens, hallways and conference rooms.  

We have installed more than 250 additional hand sanitizer dispensers to ensure they are widely available on campus in convenient locations. Please note that the white dispensers contain soap (near sinks) and the yellow dispensers contain hand sanitizer, located on walls and stands throughout campus. We want to emphasize that good hand hygiene is a cornerstone of public health. Using the hand sanitizers provided on campus or washing hands thoroughly, is better for both individual and community health. 

Community Cleaning Kits 

In addition to the cleaning regimen provided by our custodial staff, we provide cleaning kits and/or buckets of disinfecting wipes for “self help” community cleaning efforts. These cleaning kits are available by request and instructions for use are included with every kit.

Information Regarding Vendors and Contractors working on Campus

Vendors and contractors working on campus are required to adhere to either their own company policies regarding public health or Bates College policy, whichever is stricter.