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Challenges in the Development of Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Standards: The Story of ASHRAE Standard 62



Andrew K. Persily


Building ventilation has long been recognized for its role in occupant health, comfort and productivity, with some of the first recommendations on building ventilation rates published in the 19th century. These recommendations were transformed into more rigorous standards and guidance in the 20th century, with the first version of ASHRAE Standard 62 published in 1973. Since that time, ventilation standards have been issued in several countries around the world, with those standards dealing with an increasing complex and challenging range of issues as research on indoor air quality and the state of knowledge of building performance have both progressed. This paper reviews and discusses some of the more significant issues that have been addressed in the development of ventilation standards in recent years, including: the scientific bases of ventilation requirements, perceived indoor air quality, contaminant sources from occupants and the building, energy implications, contaminant limits in general, indoor carbon dioxide concentrations, environmental tobacco smoke, and performance-based design. Issues that are expected to be dealt with as these standards are developed into the future are also reviewed.
Building and Environment


comfort, health, indoor air quality, occupant satisfaction, standards, ventilation


Persily, A. (2016), Challenges in the Development of Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Standards: The Story of ASHRAE Standard 62, Building and Environment, [online], (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created May 2, 2016, Updated February 19, 2017