CHICAGO – The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) will hold an open public session at its 2003 Winter Meeting titled “Environmental Security: An Added Value in Engineering Services.” The session is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

ASHRAE members will present findings from a report on safeguarding people in their environment, whether under normal or extraordinary incidents. The report will address health, comfort, and environmental security issues involving air, food, and water.

“The plan is for the [Ad Hoc] committee to discuss the contents of the report on risk management guidelines for health, safety, and environmental security under extraordinary incidents,” said ASHRAE President Donald G. Colliver, Ph.D., P.E. “We have an excellent, knowledgeable, and diverse committee who recognize the goal for building performance is that realistic measures that reduce building vulnerability under extraordinary incidents should not have a negative impact and in many cases could improve the health and comfort of the indoor environment.”

The session is a follow-up to an ASHRAE report released in January 2002, “Risk Management Guidance for Health and Safety under Extraordinary Incidents.” (The report is available at That report has been recognized by the Office of Homeland Security as one of the four most important guidance documents published since Sept. 11, 2001.

“The committee has been diligently putting together the recommendations for several months,” noted Colliver. “As such, the report will have more specific guidance than was included in the first report, which was a rapid response to the issue. The first report basically said that we have the knowledge and know-how to design for environmental protection, health and life safety, and energy efficient buildings. We just need the commitment to do it.”

The new report has been expanded to address HVACR relative to control of water and food processing. It also will contain:

  • Information on risk management guidance for given buildings, which will allow owners to evaluate the possible risk for their buildings.

  • Information on interior and exterior infrastructure barriers, including air, water, and food control within buildings, including utility and transportation services; and

  • Recommendations to owners of existing buildings and to designers and owners of new buildings.

    Colliver added that the report is “much more comprehensive” than the first version. “It recognizes the need for risk assessment and applying the skills of engineers in using HVACR systems and buildings’ operations for the safety of the occupants,” he said.

    For a complete meeting schedule, visit

    Publication date: 01/20/2003