ASHRAE’s Residential IAQ Guide, published in 2018, contains practical and actionable strategies directed at multiple audiences, including builders, designers, occupants, whether they rent or own, and managers of multifamily buildings. It does this while also providing a compendium of sound scientific information for professionals who specialize in IAQ, home energy, commissioning, and those who develop programs and standards intended to transform industry practices.
ASHRAE’s Environmental Health Committee initiated development of the Guide because it saw a particular need to penetrate the builder and designer marketplace. The Guide does this with accessible and cost-effective information and a focus on simple actions with high impact. Building a dwelling with good moisture control, a tight envelope, correctly sealed unoccupied spaces such as crawl spaces, free of significant indoor contaminants, and with the required ventilation, need not cost much more than one without these features. An appendix with ten case studies of real ventilation, heating and cooling systems compares how to install them, their suitability for various climates, use in existing and multifamily dwellings, how they work, and what can go wrong with each system.
Once a high IAQ dwelling is occupied, much depends on occupant activities and operation of systems including ventilation and exhaust. Notable features of the Guide include a checklist for homebuyers and potential renters when evaluating a prospective dwelling, instructions to correctly use kitchen and bath exhaust, improving air filtration, a comprehensive section on pest management, and correct use and potential misuse of low-cost sensors.
Consistent with the conference theme, the Guide covers the impact of thermal environmental conditions on contaminant release, on occupants and their perception of IEQ, and the interactions among IAQ and other factors.
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