Press release | 20 August 2020 | kj

Ventilating Properly – But How?

Scientists at TU Berlin’s Hermann Rietschel Institute answer important questions about ventilating indoor spaces

The coronavirus pandemic is keeping the world waiting with bated breath. Yet, something resembling everyday life is returning for an increasing number of people in Germany: Schools are gradually opening and more people are going back to their offices. However, it is clearly apparent that the spread of viruses through aerosols in closed rooms plays a major role. The first schools have already had to close their doors. Regular air exchange can help to limit the spread of the virus in rooms.

The TU Berlin Hermann Rietschel Institute is the world’s oldest scientific institution dedicated to heat, ventilation, and air conditioning. The scientists there are tasked with investigating the conditions needed to provide a room climate that satisfies the basic human needs in terms of health, safety, and comfort.

Professor Dr. Martin Kriegel is head of the Hermann Rietschel Institute at TU Berlin and has been researching the spread of aerosols since his appointment in 2011. “It is crucial that we observe the existing guidelines for ventilating rooms. Special rules are not yet necessary.” However, what is the right way to air out a room to ensure effective air exchange? What happens to the viruses carried through the room by aerosols, how long do they remain, and how do they spread? Can air filters help?

“Depending on the room conditions, special room airflows are created. The resulting spread of aerosols is best understood and assessed when the scientific background is clear,” explains Kriegel. Together with his team at TU Berlin, Kriegel has provided answers to a number of common questions about aerosols and ventilation for the public.

FAQs about aerosols as related to SARS-CoV-2

Further information

  • Scientists have started a blog on specific topics related to SARS-CoV-2, which they regularly update (only in German).

  • Research activities and publications of Professor Dr. Martin Kriegel and his team



Organization name Hermann Rietschel Institute