The ASHE/FGI/ASHRAE Ventilation Evidence Study

For many years, ASHE has been a leader in promoting the idea of evidence-based codes. This idea is so compelling, that it influenced the FGI, whose mission is to create evidence-advised Guidelines for better healthcare buildings.

Yet obtaining meaningful evidence is notoriously difficult in the world of buildings, due, at least, because of the infinite number of confounding variables for any test a scientist might run. This is particularly problematic in the area of ventilation requirements.

At the close of the last cycle of the FGI, the FGI undertook a massive effort to study the evidence that underlay its many provisions. That work was carried out by a PhD researcher at MedStar Innovation Institute, and provided much needed rigor for the FGI documents. That effort, however, did NOT include the ventilation requirements in ASHRAE 170.

Therefore, FGI began the process of aligning ASHRE and ASHE, and working through their respective processes to finally launch a project to do the same for the various requirements in ASHRAE 170. All three organizations showed great courage in sponsoring this study, knowing that it was likely to turn up little meaningful evidence. Nonetheless, in the interest of transparency and SCIENCE, they did it. And, they did it at least partly to help us all to create a robust research agenda, so that we can find ways to better answer the most important questions we face in making our policy decisions.

After more than a year, another team of researchers has completed their work. That work does substantiate important portions of the standard, and provides ample opportunities for follow-on research.

This session will discuss the project, the conclusions, and the next steps. As part of the presentation, the audience will be given the opportunity to provide input into prioritization of the various research needs, to ensure that ASHE moves forward in the best interest of its members.