Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have opened an engineering lab to design a ventilation system that could protect schools, hospitals, and other public buildings from chemical warfare and bioterrorist attacks. The lab's research will help determine how the Early Warning and Response system (eWAR) can both filter harmful agents out of the air and activate warnings when airborne contaminants reach a critical density.

The new lab-scale set-up includes a model Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system that runs simulations of potential building contamination scenarios. Using the model HVAC system, researchers will investigate how humidity, air pressure, wind, and temperature influence the spread of noxious fumes and biochemical agents. An integrated eWAR system could make detecting the myriad chemicals and bio-agents part of normal security procedures, essentially creating "immune buildings."

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