ASHRAE updates ventilation standard for health care facilities


Indoor air quality plays a large part in the overall health of a building.

Atlanta, Georgia — Interest in indoor air quality has skyrocketed as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 virus. Consumers are more concerned about the air they breathe.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has released an updated edition of “ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities.” Its purpose is to offer guidance, regulation, and mandates to designers of health care facilities, reports ASHRAE.

The 2021 edition features 17 addenda to the 2017 edition of the standard. Changes included:

  • Expanded requirements to allow airborne infectious isolation room exhaust discharge to general exhaust under certain conditions;
  • Revised scope with improved guidance on thermal comfort conditions provided;
  • Modifications to address the outpatient and residential sections;
  • Revisions to air filtration requirements;
  • Addition of new columns in the ventilation tables to prescribe filtration requirements and designate unoccupied turndown;
  • Expanded guidance on separation distance requirements for varied intake and exhaust arrangements, coordinating with related ASHRAE Standard 62.1 data; and
  • Guidance related to behavioural and mental health.

The standard is available for purchase at the ASHRAE Bookstore or by contacting customer service by phone at 1-800-527-4723.


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