ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has published a new guideline that provides guidance on achieving good indoor environments by considering the interactions of air quality and thermal conditions, as well as lighting and acoustics. ASHRAE said 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.

According to ASHRAE, Guideline 10-2011, Interactions Affecting the Achievement of Acceptable Indoor Environments, calls attention to many interactions that 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.

Levin explained that the guideline is intended to help users understand and use existing documents that deal with indoor environments, including the ASHRAE standards related to energy, ventilation, indoor air quality, 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.”

The cost of Guideline 10-2011, Interactions Affecting the Achievement of Acceptable Indoor Environments, is $54 ($46, ASHRAE members). 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:03/28/2011