The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is an international organization representing over 50,000 members. As a standards-developing organization, ASHRAE is devoted to indoor environments, focusing on refrigeration processes and the design and maintenance of other relevant equipment. ASHRAE standards include methods of test for use in commerce and performance criteria for use as facilitators with which to guide the industry, and they are divided into three types of documents: Method of Measurement or Test, Standard Design, and Standard Practice.
The idea of indoor environments is closely tied with indoor air quality. ANSI/ASHRAE 62.1-2016 – Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality specifies minimum ventilation rates and other measures that aid in providing indoor air quality in new or existing buildings for minimizing adverse health effects to humans. Similarly, ANSI/ASHRAE 62.2-2016 – Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings offers guidance for and defines the roles of mechanical and natural ventilation systems and the building envelope used to assure acceptable indoor air quality in residential buildings.
These two standards, when utilized to their respective purposes, can grant those indoors a level of comfort and safety that is only possible when the air is of acceptable composition. The indoor environment that surrounds individuals is altered and managed by a variety of systems of components, the most notable and common being heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, which perform the tasks that their name denotes. As such, ASHRAE provides testing procedures to assure the reliable use of their components. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 111-2008 (R2017) – Measurement, Testing, Adjusting and Balancing of Building HVAC Systems offers one such procedure, providing uniform methods of measurement, testing, adjusting, balancing, evaluating, and reporting the performance of building heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems in the field.
Air quality is also essential among the many issues associated with laboratory activities, since certain materials, such as urethanes, rubbers, epoxies and resins, can give off fumes that may be harmful or irritating to personnel and sometimes even equipment. To mitigate the ill-effects of these anticipated airborne-hazards, laboratories equip fume hoods, the testing of which is specified through ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 110-2016 – Methods of Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods.
However, ASHRAE’s attention on indoor environments is by no means limited to indoor air quality systems. The concept of indoor environments also includes freezers and refrigerators, which must isolate colder air within a specific area efficiently and reliably. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 72-2014 – Method of Testing Open and Closed Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers provides testing methods for these appliances so that comparative evaluations can be made of energy consumption, product temperature performance, refrigeration load, the suction pressures required, and other performance factors.
ASHRAE has also published ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018 – Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems. This document differs significantly in focus from the aforementioned standards, as it details guidelines for the water systems of buildings. However, it still was written for enhancing the safety of individuals in buildings. Specifically, it offers Legionellosis risk management guidelines for building water systems, addressing the design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, repair, replacement, and expansion of new and existing buildings and their associated (potable and nonpotable) water systems and components. This standard is intended for use by owners and managers of human-occupied buildings, who have a responsibility to prevent the spread of Legionnaires’ disease, which leads to the hospitalization of up to 18,000 Americans each year.
Additional ASHRAE standards are available on the ANSI Webstore.