The provision of adequate ventilation is an essential factor in maintaining patient wellbeing in a health care setting; therefore, maintaining acceptable IAQ has become a huge challenge for health care facilities. One of the most important parts of ensuring proper IAQ is supplying the appropriate amount of ventilation to replenish oxygen, remove carbon dioxide, and reduce the activity of airborne pathogens.
ASHRAE 170, “Ventilation for Healthcare Facilities,” was first published in 2008 to address the specific ventilation needs and engineering requirements in a health care environment. Prior to 2008, there was no specific standard available to address the ventilation requirement for health care facilities. Prior to 2010, ASHRAE standard 62.1, “Ventilation for Acceptable Air Quality,” contained Appendix E, which was specific to health care facilities. This part of ASHRAE 62.1 no longer exists, as those requirements were completely transferred to ASHRAE 170 when it was issued in 2008. The standard has been incorporated in the Facility Guideline Institute’s Guideline for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities since 2010.