Protecting Buildings From a Biological or Chemical Attack: actions to take before or during a release

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This report presents advice on how to operate a building to reduce casualties from a biological or chemical attack, as well as potential changes to the building (e.g. the design of the ventilation system) that could make it more secure. It also documents the assumptions and reasoning behind the advice. The particular circumstances of any attack, such as the ventilation system design, building occupancy, agent type, source strength and location, and so on, may differ from the assumptions made here, in which case actions other than our recommendations may be required; we hope that by understanding the rationale behind the advice, building operators can modify it as required for their circumstances. The advice was prepared by members of the Airflow and Pollutant Transport Group, which is part of the Indoor Environment Department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The group's expertise in this area includes: tracer-gas measurements of airflows in buildings (Sextro, Thatcher); design and operation of commercial building ventilation systems (Delp); modeling and analysis of airflow and tracer gas transport in large indoor spaces (Finlayson, Gadgil, Price); modeling of gas releases in multi-zone buildings (Sohn, Lorenzetti, Finlayson, Sextro); and occupational health and safety experience related to building design and operation (Sextro, Delp). This report is concerned only with building design and operation; it is not a how-to manual for emergency response. Many important emergency response topics are not covered here, including crowd control, medical treatment, evidence gathering, decontamination methods, and rescue gear.

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