ATLANTA - Maintaining that its residential ventilation standard sets a higher standard for indoor air quality, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has proposed that it be included in the International Residential Code (IRC).

This is the first time that the standard, published in December 2003, has been proposed by ASHRAE for inclusion in a model code.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2, "Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings," is an indoor air quality standard developed solely for residences. ASHRAE has proposed to the International Code Council (ICC) that Standard 62.2 be an alternate compliance path for the ventilation provisions of Sections R303.1 (lighting, ventilation, and heating) and M1506.1 (toilet room and bathroom ventilation) of the IRC.

"ASHRAE believes that ASHRAE 62.2 provides a higher standard for ventilation and indoor air quality than the current requirements of the International Residential Code," said Bruce Hunn, ASHRAE's director of technology.

In its proposal, ASHRAE noted that the standard was developed to ensure healthy indoor air in residences.

"The most effective strategy for minimizing indoor air exposure to pollutants is to prevent them from being released into the air in the first place," according to ASHRAE. "To this end, the standard requires source-control measures that exhaust pollutants from specific rooms before the pollutants enter the rest of the household. In addition, whole-house ventilation brings fresh air into the house, diluting pollutants that are difficult to control at the source."

The IRC is considered a comprehensive model code for homebuilding that brings together all building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical provisions for one- and two-family residences.

The proposed changes are scheduled to be evaluated in spring 2005 for possible inclusion in the 2006 code. ASHRAE's proposals to the ICC can be found at under the Technology & Standards link in the Standards Activities section labeled "Code Interaction."

Publication date: 10/11/2004