Smoking Odor, Not Health, Tackled In ASHRAE 62 Addenda

July 13, 2002
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HONOLULU, HI — The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) ventilation standard provides new design guidance for controlling odor in indoor spaces where smoking occurs. The addendum does not address health effects relating to smoking spaces — just odors.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-2001, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality,” sets minimum ventilation rates and other requirements for commercial and institutional buildings. The smoking space odor-control guidance is provided as information only in an appendix to the standard. It is not required for compliance.

The design guidance, identified as addendum 62o, was approved for publication at ASHRAE’s 2002 Annual Meeting, held here in Honolulu June 22-26.

The addendum provides a method that allows designers to determine additional ventilation (over what would be provided in a similar nonsmoking area), according to Andrew Persily, chair of the 62 committee.

The increase in ventilation is typically about 10 to 40 cfm/person over the nonsmoking rate in spaces without heavy smoking, he said. Naturally, the actual increase depends on the smoking rate and occupancy density of the specific space.

The addendum does give the standard a little more enforceable bite. For example, it requires smoking areas to have more ventilation and air cleaning than comparable nonsmoking areas.

The section notes that “Specific ventilation rate requirements cannot be determined until cognizant authorities determine the concentration of smoke that achieves an acceptable level of risk.”

The section also states that air from smoking areas “shall not be recirculated or transferred to no-smoking areas,” Persily said.

Finally, there seems to have been a trade-off: Addendum 62o deletes “smoking lounges” from a table on outdoor air requirements for ventilation. In the same table, the requirements in spaces where smoking is assumed to occur have been lowered, and a footnote has been added explaining that the table applies to no-smoking areas, according to Persily.

The addendum is subject to a 15-day appeals period to the board of directors. Published addenda to ASHRAE standards are available for free at ASHRAE Online, (website).

Publication date: 07/15/2002

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