Indoor Air Quality Standard Updated

  July 7, 2016

By Naomi Millán

A recent update to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2016, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, has changes that affect the indoor air quality procedure, laboratory exhaust and demand control ventilation. The standard sets minimum ventilation rates and other requirements for commercial and institutional buildings.

Multifamily residential dwelling spaces have been removed from 62.1 are now covered under 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings. Spaces outside of the dwelling space such as corridors, lobbies, fitness rooms, retail, etc., remain covered by Standard 62.1.

Other major changes are:

• Revision of the definition of “environmental tobacco smoke” (ETS) to include emissions from electronic smoking devices and from smoking of cannabis.

• Revision of operations and maintenance requirements to more closely align with the requirements in ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2012, Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial-Building HVAC Systems.

• Addition of requirements to the Indoor Air Quality Procedure for determining minimum ventilation rates by including consideration of the combined effects of multiple contaminants of concern on individual organ systems.

• Assignment of laboratory exhaust to a default of Air Class 4, with an explicit allowance for a responsible environmental health and safety professional to determine that a lower air class is appropriate for particular systems.

• Reduction of ventilation allowed to zero through the use of occupancy sensors (not through contaminant or carbon dioxide measurements) for spaces of selected occupancy types, provided that ventilation is restored to Vbz (breathing zone outdoor airflow) whenever occupancy is detected.

• Changes of language related to demand control ventilation confirming that the standard is intended to be used for physical operation in addition to calculations for code review.

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor of Building Operating Management magazine, For more on indoor air quality, go to


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