Providing adequate ventilation is a very important part of a patient’s wellbeing in a health care setting. Maintaining a high level of indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an increasing challenge for health care facilities. A critical part of ensuring proper IAQ is supplying the appropriate amount of ventilation to replenish oxygen, to remove carbon dioxide, and to reduce the activity of airborne pathogens.
ASHRAE 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities was first published in 2008 to address the specific ventilation needs in a health care environment. Prior to 2008, there were no specific standard available to address the minimum ventilation requirement for health care environments. ASHRAE standard 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Air Quality, prior to 2010 contained Appendix E, which was specific to health care facilities. This part of the standard no longer exists, and the requirements were completely transferred to ASHRAE 170 when it was issued in 2008. The standard has been incorporated in the Facility Guideline Institute “Guideline for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities,” since 2010.