ASHRAE Offers Guide to New Ventilation Standard

air_ventThe American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) this week released a manual to aid in fulfillment of the Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality (ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2016).

The changes in the new standard impact high rise residential spaces, indoor air quality procedure, laboratory exhaust and demand control ventilation, according to a quote in the press release from Hoy Bohanon, the chair of the Standard 62.1 committee.

Ventilation – and, in particular, lack of it – is associated with what has become known as sick building syndrome (SBS). Thermobuild President Jack Laken contributed a piece to Manufacturing Tomorrow in which he discussed SBS in which the insidious problem is discussed:

When a building is not properly ventilated with outdoor air, it can also result in a build up in human bioeffulents, such as carbon dioxide and viruses, as well as other indoor contaminants. In fact, HVAC systems may play a role in distributing the containments throughout the occupied space. And that’s not all. If not properly maintained, the system itself can be a contaminant, adding to the already existing pollutants in the building.

Bringing in outside air – and either cooling or heating it, depending on need – is not cheap, he writes. The bulk of the piece provide insight into how to create HVAC systems that perform this vital task as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.

Proper ventilation is a real problem that has human impact. Last month, Kristen Roeder, a 6th grade teacher at the Wildwood Elementary School in Amherst, MA, posted a commentary in the Amherst Bulletin that described conditions in the building. It was co-signed by 47 staff members.

The problem, she wrote, is mold caused by poor ventilation:

Some of us have increased chest congestion, sinus infections, fatigue and headaches that will increase throughout the week, but are then gone on the weekend. Others have developed asthma and had multiple bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia.

Roeder wrote that attempts to address the problem have failed. The commentary was in support of a proposed plan to replace that school and the Fort River Elementary School, which also is in Amherst.

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