ATLANTA - Building operators and designers around the world face common issues related to thermal comfort, ventilation, and energy. But these measures take on greater concern for buildings in hot and humid climates.

Design guidance on critical issues for achieving excellence and long-term sustainability in these climates is contained in a new book from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). TheASHRAE Guide for Buildings in Hot and Humid Climatesidentifies and explains key issues for owners, architects, HVAC designers, contractors, and building owners as they plan, build and operate air-conditioned buildings - in a sustainable way - in hot and humid climates.

“All countries want to achieve high standards of energy efficiency,” said author Lew Harriman. “But recent history warns that mold and mildew problems in hot and humid climates can overshadow any gains made through energy reduction. On the other hand, the practical experience of ASHRAE’s members shows that by focusing on several critical building enclosure design details and by keeping the indoor air dry, owners and designers can avoid mold problems and have high indoor air quality, while their buildings use much less energy than outdated designs.”

Topics covered in the book include improving thermal comfort, managing ventilation air, reducing energy consumption, and avoiding bugs, mold, and rot. The book explains ASHRAE’s standards in these areas. It also highlights common problems seen in hot and humid climates, along with practical alternatives for avoiding such problems.

“The guide was created in part because of requests from designers and owners in North America, but also because of requests from government agencies in developing countries that are working to establish robust building codes to guide energy use and indoor environmental quality,” Harriman said. “When balancing the equally important concerns of low energy consumption, high thermal comfort, and healthy indoor air, ASHRAE’s experience and internally-informed consensus standards can be very helpful.”

A second edition is planned for January 2009 that will add more information arranged into sections aimed at each different member of the construction and delivery team.

The cost of theASHRAE Guide for Buildings in Hot and Humid Climatesis $59 (ASHRAE members, $49). 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

Publication date:02/11/2008