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Project Brief: ASHRAE, Inc.

NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants


Improving the energy efficiency of ventilation systems in retail stores while maintaining air quality by establishing a method to determine the relationship between ventilation rates and IAQ, using measured ventilation and pollutant concentration data.


  • Project duration: 3 Years
  • Total NIST Funding: $1,500,000
Given that there are some 14.6 billion ft2 (approximately 929 million m2) of retail space in the United States where people shop up to 24/7, it is vital that ventilation systems operate as efficiently as possible while maintaining good indoor air quality. Through this study, ASHRAE will provide a rigorous basis for ventilation rate requirements in retail spaces by establishing a method to correlate ventilation rates and indoor air quality. The project will provide data and a protocol for validation and modification of ventilation rate requirements, and will study the effect of maintenance frequency on improved air quality. Establishment of such a method will assist in revising ventilation rate requirements in a variety of building types. Existing pollutant and ventilation rate data, on which ventilation requirements for retail spaces are based, largely come from measurements in office buildings, which may not be appropriate. The project will conduct measurements in up to five retail building types: general merchandise, department, supermarket, restaurant, and home improvement/hardware. This will provide a quantitative basis for improving energy efficiency and maintaining air quality by increasing maintenance frequency and reducing ventilation rate requirements.

Public contact (for project information):

Jodi Dunlop, 678-539-1140
jdunlop [at] (jdunlop[at]ashrae[dot]org)

jdunlop [at]

NIST Program Office Contact:

Jason Boehm, 301-975-8678Jason.boehm [at] (

Created January 14, 2010, Updated September 9, 2021