ASHRAE Standard 170 – Healthcare Ventilation UPDATES

John Dombrowski

John Dombrowski, PE, HFDP, CPMP, CCP, LEED® AP

Associate Principal, Senior Commissioning Agent

The ASHRAE 170 Committee—focused on ventilation standards in healthcare– met at the annual ASHRAE winter conference.

Several significant changes are coming that will impact engineers, architects, and owners if implemented. The following are the highlights of this committee’s work:

·       Addendum M – Allowing Adiabatic humidifiers has been approved and published. Adiabatic humidifiers are much more energy efficient.

·        Addendums N – Adding new chapters to separate outpatient requirements (new Chapter 8) and Residential requirements (new Chapter 9) is going out for public comment. (The current chapters 8 and 9 will become 10 and 11.) This is to accomplish two things: (1) 2018 FGI Guidelines will have three separate book – Hospitals, Outpatient and Residential – and these will align with those, and (2) Reviewing and eliminating “overkill” guidelines for Outpatient and some Residential facilities.

·    We are providing an interpretation regarding Central Sterile Decontamination rooms. The current temperature requirement is 60 – 73 degrees. Maintaining 60 degrees can be very costly, but some AHJ’s (Authority Having Jurisdictions) and engineers have been interpreting the requirement as being that the system MUST be designed to maintain 60 degrees. The interpretation will allow the Owner to determine where “within” the range they want the temperature to be maintained.

·      Addendum O: Allowing facilities an “alternative means” of compliance to meet the Guideline based on a risk assessment. Numerous comments were provided, so the committee will review and make modifications to the document. After which, the addendum will have a 2nd public review. I predict this will likely move forward.

For further info, please feel free to contact me directly:

John Dombrowski, PE, HFDP, CPMP, CCP, LEED® AP

Associate Principal, Senior Commissioning Agent


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