Bergmann worked with the Webster Montessori School to complete a COVID-19 audit that encompassed a full multidisciplinary assessment completed by architects, engineers, interior designers and environmental professionals. The focus of the audit was to provide recommendations for immediate changes to the existing facility, thereby enabling staff and students to return to school in a deliberately safer way. Both short- and long-term planning options were also presented, enabling the HVAC systems to increase ventilation air, provide better space temperature control, and increase filtration efficiency. This has ensured the facility is more resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and potential future health crises.
The final report accounted for all available state and federal guidance at the time, and incorporated visual graphics to clearly communicate proposed changes to building use and operations. These changes included the flow of students and staff throughout the building and campus and greater space utilization to reduce occupant density in each room, as well as frequent airflow measurements to ensure ventilation needs are being met.
As a result of this study, Webster Montessori has modified the layout of each classroom and decreased the occupant density by expanding into new areas of the building. The school has also installed new HVAC controls and increased the ventilation air provided to the building and classrooms. This has allowed the school to reopen in a coordinated and controlled way, increasing the probability of the school remaining a safe learning space for both teachers and students.