Codes and Standards

What do engineers want?

Consulting-Specifying Engineer knows the answer: Information about COVID-19 and codes and standards

By Amara Rozgus February 15, 2021

The course of the coronavirus has taken many twists and turns along the way. COVID-19 completely shut down some industries, like restaurants and hospitality buildings, while other industries such as health care have been overburdened.

It came as no surprise that, when reviewing the top Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles of 2020, six of them focused on COVID-19, air filtration or high-performance buildings’ capabilities. In order, the top 10 are:

  1. How egress is planned using NFPA 101
  2. Climate-informed HVAC increases in relative humidity may fight COVID-19 and other pandemics
  3. How NFPA 101 defines building egress
  4. Best practices for infiltration and building pressurization
  5. COVID-19 and the impacts to the workplace
  6. Converting alternative structures for COVID-19 patients
  7. What’s so important about air filtration?
  8. MEP Giants revenue increased 5% over the last year
  9. Illuminating the means of egress
  10. Pandemic control in high-performance buildings

The hot topics that are related to codes and standards or the business of engineering are key subjects at any time.

When Consulting-Specifying Engineer conducted research in 2020 about how COVID-19 is affecting job functions, the majority said that the pandemic was not having an affect on their workload (56%) or salary (72%). While that may have shifted a bit since the research was conducted, most engineers appear to be keeping busy.

Building professionals’ need for information hasn’t changed, and the fact that codes and standards topics appear in the top three most-read items last year isn’t a surprise. Many professionals are keeping up-to-date on these changes via online education sessions now, or by attending virtual conferences. And, as building codes change due to COVID-19, the need for this information will be even more essential.

This month’s focus on NFPA 101 is at look at the top codes and standards topic from last year, combined with reopening buildings during COVID-19. Engineers need to consider the public health and life safety issues of reopening a building after COVID-19, which is a theme that hasn’t been covered extensively.

To continue the discussion about effectively tackling COVID-19 in engineered systems, the articles on smart buildings combating health concerns and mitigating COVID-19 with HVAC systems provide a detailed look at how engineers are designing or retrofitting HVAC systems to meet the coronavirus challenges.

Engineers have been tasked with ensuring buildings of any type are safely and effectively functioning to keep occupants safe.


Amara Rozgus
Author Bio: Amara is the Editor-in-Chief/Content Strategy Leader for Consulting-Specifying Engineer.