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ASHRAE To Develop IAQ Pathogen Mitigation Standard

Standard will address, design, operation, testing, verification, commissioning and periodic re-commissioning.   December 19, 2022

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

ASHRAE recently committed to support the expedited development of a national indoor air quality (IAQ) pathogen mitigation standard. The goal is to finalize a consensus-based, code-enforceable standard within six months. 

“The health and well-being of building occupants are crucial factors that must be considered during the design, construction and operation phases of the building process,” says Farooq Mehboob, ASHRAE’s 2022-’23 ASHRAE president. “ASHRAE’s long history of leadership in IAQ science and technology, will provide broad-reaching guidance through this standard to help ensure the use of best practices for pathogen mitigation, which will assist in creating safer indoor spaces for us all.” 

ASHRAE will set up a balanced team of internationally recognized experts to work on an accelerated timeline to develop the standard. Delivery of the standard will include: 

  • both design and operation 
  • alternative prescriptive or performance paths in which equivalent clean air would be the goal 
  • testing, verification, documentation, commissioning and periodic re-commissioning. 

The increased focus on IAQ by governments and the public, along with the convergence of the flu, respiratory syncytial (RSV) and COVID-19 threatening public health, makes ASHRAE’s development of the pathogen mitigation standard of even greater importance, as jurisdictions and building owners look to a reputable and non-biased source for guidance and science-based building standards. 

Airborne transmission of pathogens is of concern to the public, and governments are responding. In March, the U.S. government launched the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which included recommendations to improve ventilation and filtration in buildings.  

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 25 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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