HONOLULU, HI — Neither odors nor health effects associated with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) will be addressed in the future version of the ventilation standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The announcement was made one week after ASHRAE announced an addendum (62o) to current Standard 62-2001, to provide design guidance for controlling odors alone in indoor spaces where smoking occurs. The addendum only relates to ETS odors in nonsmoking areas.

The proposed standard, ASHRAE Standard 62.1P (“Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Commercial, Institutional, and High-Rise Residential Buildings”), takes one more step away, dealing with neither odors nor health. It would apply only to nonsmoking spaces in buildings.

The action, which took place at ASHRAE's 2002 Annual Meeting held here June 22-26, came after what the society describes as “months of debate on what requirements the society should place on the ventilation of smoking areas. Furthermore, the proposed standard will not comment on the health effects of ETS.”

The topics were debated strongly at both a seminar and forum at ASHRAE’s 2002 Winter Meeting. Proponents for smokers’ rights and nonsmokers’ rights seemed to be evenly represented at the forum (The News, Jan. 28, 2002, page 1).


While adherence or nonadherence to the standard has definite health ramifications, the society pointed out that the proposed standard is intended to discuss engineering and HVAC system design — not health, and not even odors.

“This standard is an engineering design document for ventilating indoor spaces and is not intended to be a source of information on health,” said Richard Hayter, a member of ASHRAE's Board Policy Committee on Standards, which made the recommendations. “References to the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke are outside the purpose of the standard.”

In addition, the committee recommended that a separate publication be written to provide design guidance for spaces where ETS is present, such as bars and casinos. The “publication” would be neither a standard nor a guideline.

“We should provide technical information on this issue to designers and engineers,” Hayter conceded.

The standard may initially contain some guidance (not requirements) on ventilation of smoking spaces through addenda approved for ASHRAE's existing ventilation standard, Standard 62-2001, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.” This includes the aforementioned Addendum 62o (The News, July 15, 2002, page 29), which only addresses the control of odors from ETS, not the health effects, and is not required for compliance.

This addendum will remain in Standard 62 until a separate publication is written, according to the society. Guidance in this area then would be addressed in the separate publication, and the addendum modified or deleted, Hayter said.

For more information, contact ASHRAE at 404-636-8400; www.ashrae.org (website).

Sidebar: Use of 62 In New, Existing Buildings

HONOLULU, HI — An addendum that addresses the use of ASHRAE’s ventilation standard in new and existing buildings has been approved for publication.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-2001, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality,” sets minimum ventilation rates and other requirements for commercial and institutional buildings. Addendum 62k adds an appendix to address the application of the standard in new and existing buildings.

Much of Standard 62 was written with new buildings or renovations in mind, as many of its requirements relate to ventilation system design, said Andrew Persily, chair of the committee writing the standard.

"Many of the requirements can also be useful in evaluating existing buildings," he said. "At the same time, it may not be practical or even necessary to retroactively apply some of the specific requirements to existing buildings.

"The appendix will help designers to decide how or when, if at all, to apply Standard 62-2001 to existing buildings," he said.

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

Publication date: 07/15/2002