ACHRNEWS

Sept. 19, 2008: New Standard Defines Ventilation Requirements for Health Care Facilities

September 19, 2008

ATLANTA - Requirements to ensure proper ventilation in health care facilities can be found in a new standard written by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE). ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2008, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, defines ventilation system design requirements that provide environmental control for comfort, as well as infection and odor control.

The standard is the first ANSI standard in the nation to specifically address ventilation in health care facilities and is available for adoption by various authorities for health care facility construction such as city, state, and federal governments and by private national organizations such as the Facilities Guidelines Institute and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Without high-quality ventilation in health care facilities, patients, health care workers, and visitors can become infected by simply breathing, says ASHRAE.

“Air-transmitted pathogens can be found everywhere in poorly ventilated health care facilities,” said Richard Hermans, P.E., ASHRAE certified healthcare facility design professional (HFDP) and chair of the committee that wrote the standard. “Because these organisms are found in higher concentrations in hospitals and because patients are susceptible to them, additional care should be taken in the design of ventilation systems.”

The standard addresses systems and equipment; space ventilation for a variety of areas in health care facilities, including airborne infection isolation rooms, critical care units, burn units, surgery rooms, and Class B and C operating rooms; and planning, construction, and system startup.

The cost of ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2008, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, is $54 ($43, ASHRAE members).

To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 404-321-5478, or visit www.ashrae.org/bookstore.

Publication date: 09/15/2008