Peachtree, Georgia — ASHRAE approves the publication of a new standard that is set to mitigate the risk of anticipated airborne infections for buildings. According to ASHRAE, “Standard 241, Control of Infectious Aerosols,” establishes minimum requirements to reduce the risk of disease transmission by exposure to infectious aerosols in new buildings, existing buildings, and major renovations.
“Standard 241 represents a significant step forward in prioritizing indoor air quality,” said Farooq Mehboob, 2022-23 ASHRAE. “By implementing the requirements outlined in this standard, we can improve the health, well-being and productivity of building occupants. This standard empowers building owners, operators and professionals to take proactive measures in safeguarding indoor environments. It’s an essential tool for creating healthier indoor environments and promoting sustainable practices.”
Requirements of the standard apply during the newly termed “infection risk management mode,” which applies during identified periods of disease transmission risk. Authorities having jurisdiction can determine when the enhanced protections of Standard 241 will be required, but its use can also be at the discretion of the owner. “This aspect of Standard 241 introduces the concept of resilience — the ability to respond to extreme circumstances outside normal conditions — into the realm the realm of indoor air quality control design and operation,” according to ASHRAE.
Standard 241 sets new requirements for equivalent clean airflow rate — the flow rate of pathogen-free airflow into occupied areas of a building that would have the same effect as the total of outdoor air, filtration of indoor air, and air disinfection by technologies, such as germicidal ultraviolet light. This approach would allow the user to select combinations of technologies to comply with the standard that best satisfies their economic constraints and energy-use goals.
The standard will now provide requirements for use of filtration and air cleaning to meet equivalent clean airflow requirements. These include testing requirements to establish performance and to demonstrate that operation does not degrade indoor air quality in other ways, for example by elevating ozone levels.
A new building readiness plan has been established under Standard 241, which carries over from the work of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. It also describes procedures for commissioning systems to determine their installed performance.
Standard 241 available now for presale in the ASHRAE bookstore.