Upper room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has shown great potential as an airborne infection control measure in the indoor environment. There is a growing literature on the benefits and applications of upper-room UVGI, however, designers looking to specify this technology often have difficulty due to a lack of general guidance on installation and operation of these systems. One potential approach is to include upper-room UVGI in an existing framework used in the design of high-performance green buildings. These aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and promote healthy environments for living and working.
In settings with an increased concern for airborne pathogens such as hospitals, UVGI offers an energy efficient approach to providing additional air disinfection without increasing the capacity of HVAC systems. Studies have demonstrated UVGI performance in reducing pathogen concentrations with effective air changes several times greater than that accomplished by ventilation alone. These examples justify the application of UVGI in green buildings from both the perspective of energy efficiency and improved indoor environmental quality.