New ASHRAE Position Statement on COVID-19

Ned Heminger, PE
Vice President and Chief Engineer

The MEPT industry has long played a role in mitigating the threat of infectious disease in a variety of built environments, and the COVID-19 pandemic has led to substantial changes to industry standards, best practices and recommendations. ASHRAE recently came out with a position statement relative to infectious aerosols as a result of the coronavirus in which they provide recommendations on design, installation and operation of HVAC systems. The full position statement can be read here.

In the future, I suspect there will be additional changes coming to standards such as ASHRAE 170 (Healthcare Ventilation) and 62.1 (Ventilation for Indoor Air Quality) addressing the same issue. I don’t believe those changes will necessarily match the current position statement, primarily because there are different groups of people involved with those standards with a wide range of industry experience, and changes to those standards must go through a public review process. However, I do anticipate that ASHRAE 170 will increase the stringency for patient care areas, such as patient rooms, corridors and ICUs.

As more is discovered about the role MEPT systems can play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, HAWA is fully prepared to implement industry-recommended best practices in our designs. If you’re curious about the changes to these standards or what they may mean for your projects, I’d be happy to discuss with you.

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