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ASHRAE Receives NIST Grant to Study IAQ in Retail Stores

February 2010 - IAQ

ASHRAE has been awarded $1.5 million dollars in grant money from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct a three-year research project on ventilation and indoor air quality in retail stores.

The project, Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in Retail Stores, is one of 27 projects funded by NIST for measurement science and engineering research.

The NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants Program, made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides $34.12 million in grants at higher-education, commercial and nonprofit organizations in 18 states. The project will be conducted through ASHRAE’s research program.

Currently, there is little published information about air quality and ventilation rates in retail spaces in the United States. Existing pollutant and ventilation rate data, on which ventilation requirements for retail spaces are based, largely come from measurements in office buildings, which may not be appropriate, according to ASHRAE.

Through this study, ASHRAE is seeking to improve the energy efficiency of ventilation systems in retail stores while maintaining air quality by establishing a method to determine the relationship between ventilation rates and IAQ, using measured ventilation and pollutant concentration data. Specifically, the project will provide a quantitative basis for improving energy efficiency, while maintaining air quality, by increasing maintenance frequency and reducing ventilation rate requirements.

The project will conduct measurements in up to five retail building types: general merchandise, department, supermarket, restaurant, and home improvement/hardware.        


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