ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) published a new guideline on achieving good indoor environments by considering the interactions of air quality and thermal conditions, as well as lighting and acoustics. Guideline 10 is especially important in the design of low-energy buildings, in order to ensure full consideration of indoor environmental quality and its effects on occupants, said the society.

ASHRAE Guideline 10-2011, Interactions Affecting the Achievement of Acceptable Indoor Environments, calls attention to many interactions designers might not have previously recognized or understood. The guideline contains an assembly of available knowledge on the complexity of the indoor environment and its impact on building occupants.

“The guideline summarizes what research and experience have taught us about the complex interplay of the wide range of factors that determine occupants’ reactions to the buildings they inhabit,” said Hal Levin, chair of the committee writing the guideline. He explained that the guideline is intended to help users understand and use existing documents that deal with indoor environments, including ASHRAE standards related to energy, ventilation, IAQ, and thermal conditions with a more complete understanding of their combined effects on occupants.

“It can provide assistance to building design professionals and building operators by making them aware of the major interactions that have the potential to impact the indoor environment,” he said. “We believe the guideline will help draw attention to the narrowly defined scopes of the widely used standards, and the significance of combined or interactive effects in determining the acceptability of an indoor environment.”

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Publication date:04/04/2011