ASHRAE Updates Healthcare Facilities Ventilation Standard

Standard offers guidance, regulation, and mandates to designers of healthcare facilities

By Dan Hounsell
May 13, 2021

As healthcare facilities managers continue to assess changes to their buildings’ HVAC system to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, ASHRAE has released an updated edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. The standard offers guidance, regulation, and mandates to designers of healthcare facilities. The 2021 edition delivers critical guidance for designers and operators of these front-line facilities and incorporates 17 addenda to the 2017 edition of the standard. Changes include:

  • expanded requirements to allow airborne infectious isolation room exhaust discharge to general exhaust under certain conditions
  • revised scope, with improved guidance on thermal comfort conditions provided
  • extensive modifications to address the outpatient and residential sections
  • extensive revisions to air filtration requirements
  • addition of new columns in the ventilation tables to prescribe filtration requirement and designate unoccupied turndown<
  • expanded guidance on separation distance requirements for varied intake and exhaust arrangements, coordinating with related ASHRAE Standard 62.1 data
  • improved guidance related to behavioral and mental health.



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