New ASHRAE Pathogen Initiative

In an important announcement released late last year, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) revealed plans for a national indoor air quality pathogen mitigation standard. At WTI Pure Air Controls, we fully support ASHRAE’s initiatives and we stand ready to help businesses realize better IAQ for all. What follows is a summary of the New ASHRAE Pathogen Initiative.

New ASHRAE Pathogen Initiative

As multiple respiratory illnesses converged over 2022, ASHRAE saw the need for a code-enforceable standard. This standard is based on the consensus of industry professionals. As SARS-CoV-2 viruses, influenza, and respiratory syncytial present a triple threat to indoor health, the society’s new ASHRAE pathogen initiative will provide guidance to facilities managers in to mitigate the spread of viruses and other contaminants.

Delivery of the standard includes design and operation as well as alternative prescriptive and performance paths. Both of these elements work toward providing clean air. Likewise, testing, verification, documentation or commissioning, and periodic recommissioning will play an important role in the new ASHRAE pathogen initiative as well. The organization plans a gathering of internationally recognized experts to develop the IAQ pathogen mitigation standard. 

Using the New ASHRAE Pathogen Initiative to Fight Virus Spread

ASHRAE commits itself to the advance of heating ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and related fields. Therefore, the spread of infectious diseases is of critical importance. Building managers rely on this professional society to provide clean indoor air to building occupants. This includes schools, universities, and businesses both public and private. The spread of the COVID virus, as well as its many variants, presents an ongoing challenge to IAQ.

Pathogen mitigation is nothing new for WTI Pure Air Controls. We have discussed the importance of HVAC testing in this forum before and of course, we have been at the forefront of the indoor air quality industry since the mid-1980s. In fact, WTI Pure Air already helps many building managers and MEP professionals adhere to ASHRAE 62.1 standards. We do this with HVAC Assessment as well as our Building Health Check which will help building managers with the new ASHRAE pathogen initiative.

HVAC Assessments

Our HVAC Hygiene Assessment accurately informs managers of the effect the HVAC system has on the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as well as the financial health of the facility. The HVAC system becomes clogged with dirt over time, which harms the IAQ of the building and the health of its occupants.

Cleaning the air handling unit is the first step in Building Sciences’ HVAC Hygiene Assessment. This pertains to the blower, associated ductwork, drain pan, and evaporator coils, among other things. Determining any impact on pressure or airflow across the evaporator coils requires the collection of samples from inside the AHU. After collection, performance testing provides further information on the system’s efficiency in providing clean indoor air. Samples get sent to EDLab for additional testing and analysis to identify whether there are bacteria or fungi present and how much of each type there is. Finally, a thorough report with a summary, performance data, microbiological results, pictures, and improvement suggestions gives managers a leg up with the new ASHRAE pathogen initiative.

The HVAC Hygiene Assessment includes:

  • Testing energy efficiency and airflow
  • Hygiene and prioritization of air conveyance
  • Analysis of building pressure
  • Air filtration
  • Post-construction evaluations
  • Air tightness testing
  • Duct leakage

Building Health Checks

The Building Health Check offered by WTI Pure Air Controls includes screening and assessment of dust, allergens, and mold. In addition, this method records the temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the walls and floors. The HVAC Hygiene Assessment, mentioned above, measures the effect a building system has on indoor air quality. It is the last component of the IAQ review. Since inadequate ventilation dilutes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, improvements to the system increase building safety. This is also the goal of the new ASHRAE pathogen initiative.

The Building Health Check includes:

  • Mold Assessments
  • Screening for allergens and dust
  • Assessments of risk and contaminant source 
  • Wall and floor moisture testing
  • Infrared thermography
  • Recording temperature and humidity
  • Test and balance reports

Learn More About the New ASHRAE Pathogen Initiative

For more information on how WTI Pure Air Controls helps business owners and building managers control the spread of pathogens, contact us today at 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.