Ventilation of Health Care Facilities | Standards Michigan

Ventilation of Health Care Facilities

In many large research universities, the healthcare enterprise is a significant revenue source -- sometimes up to half or more -- so we know that knowledgeable subject matter experts are present and financed well enough to conform to state-level healthcare facility regulations well enough to continue making money. Getting engineering staff pulled away from their regular job-assignments to contribute data and experience is a challenge for all accredited standards developers seeking balance in its technical committees.


Ventilation of Health Care Facilities

June 1, 2020

“Ward in the Hospital in Arles” | Vincent Van Gogh (1889)

It is wise to keep pace with this ASHRAE product because heightened interest in the complexity of environmental air management systems for in healthcare settings for treatment of contagious respiratory diseases.  First, the scope statement from the ASHRAE 17o prospectus:

1. PURPOSE: The purpose of this standard is to define ventilation system design requirements that provide environmental control for comfort, asepsis, and odor in health care facilities.


2.1 The requirements in this standard apply to patient-care areas and related support areas within health care facilities, including hospitals, nursing facilities, and outpatient facilities.

2.2 This standard applies to new buildings, additions to existing buildings, and those alterations to existing buildings that are identified within this standard.

2.3 This standard considers chemical, physical, and biological contaminants that can affect the delivery of medical care to patients; the convalescence of patients; and the safety of patients, health care workers, and visitors.

The standard of care for university-affiliated healthcare facilities is virtually identical to the standard for private, for-profit healthcare facilities though, as with all consensus products developed by accredited standards developers, out-of-step conditions in state level adaptions of all consensus products applicable to healthcare facilities is possible.

Today we find six redlines open for public review at the link below.  We encourage our colleagues in the education industry to participate directly in the ASHRAE standards development process:

Public Review Draft Standards / Online Comment Database

Brief summary:

Addendum a clarifies hospital air filtration requirements on a space by space basis

Addendum d harmonizes outdoor air intakes with ASHRAE 62.1

Addendum e cleans up system startup language in response to public input

Addendum k contains many changes to the Chapter 9 support space ventilation requirements

Addendum l changes relative humidity design requirements in hospital spaces that appear in Table 7.1

Addendum m deals with ventilation upon loss of power; specifically asserting an exception that if the essential power system is not provided or required then the operation of space ventilation and pressure relationships is not required. 

Comment periods run through June 1st.  We encourage our colleagues in the education industry to participate directly in the ASHRAE standards development process.  You will find that, as a “continuous maintenance” standards developer, many ASHRAE consensus products move swiftly; often every 30 to 45 days.

If designers, contractors and facility managers want to keep pace with the real-time evolution of leading practice in this spaces, they may want to click into our regular coverage of it.   We take a sanguine look at the coordination (and sometimes destructive competition) among non-profit organizations that set the standard of care for the US education facility industry.  This product is maintained on the standing agenda of our Mechanical Engineering and Healthcare Facility teleconferences.   See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.  Use the login credentials at the upper right of our home page.

Issue: [Various]

Category: Mechanical, Electrical, Energy, Facility Asset Management

Colleagues:  David Conrad, Jonathan Flannery, Richard Robben, Larry Spielvogel



2020 ASHRAE Annual Conference | Austin, TX | June 27–July 1

ARCHIVE / ASHRAE 170 Ventilation of Health Care Facilities


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