ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ASHRAE Receives Grant to Advance Indoor Air Quality

New York, Oct 31, 2006

Americans spend an estimated 90 percent of their time indoors—at work, home, and in school. And yet, indoor air quality often poses a greater health hazard than outdoor pollution, with pollutant levels averaging two to five times higher than the outside air.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has received a $510,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide technical and educational guidance for improving the air quality in non-residential buildings. The grant is one of thirty cooperative agreements awarded by EPA’s Indoor Environments Division to encourage improved indoor air quality practices in schools, homes, public and commercial buildings nationwide.

ASHRAE will use the grant to develop the special publication, Advanced Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Design Guide for Non-Residential Buildings, and a complementary educational seminar to help building professionals implement high performance designs that decrease occupant exposure to a range of air contaminants. Addressing common indoor pollutants such as dust, mold, mites and other air toxics that can trigger allergies and asthma, the document will guide the design process to allow advanced air quality practices to be realized within the limitations of typical construction and design fees.

“This guide will fill a critical information need for the building industry,” said EPA project officer Eric Werling. “ASHRAE has the experience and reputation to deliver a top-notch project.”

A member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASHRAE develops standards for the design and maintenance of indoor environments and refrigeration processes. Several ASHRAE standards, including ANSI/ASHRAE 62.1-2004, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, and ANSI/ASHRAE 55-2004, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, are referenced in building codes.

ASHRAE has announced that will join forces with other organizations engaged in indoor air quality issues—including ANSI member the U.S. Green Building Council—in the development of the special publication. The guidance document is expected to be released in late 2008; the ASHRAE Professional Development Seminar is slated for completion in 2009.

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