The Comment Period Will Be Open from March 1 – April 15

ASHRAE and the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) have issued a 45-day public review period from March 1 to April 15, 2024, on the new Guideline 43, Operations Guideline for Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. This is the second and final full public review of the guideline, which was recently updated based on the more than 50 comments received during the first public review last fall.

The guideline, developed by ASHRAE in collaboration with ASHE, gives recommendations for the operation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that provide environmental control in health care facilities for the safety and comfort of facility occupants. By introducing Guideline 43, ASHRAE and ASHE seek to render obsolete the long-standing practice of using HVAC design standards as operational practice standards and resolve discrepancies between what is allowable by design standards and what constitutes nominal HVAC performance.

The scope of the new guideline is intended to apply to patient care areas, resident care areas and related support areas within health care facilities, and provides recommendations on baseline temperature and humidity, ventilation rates, operational parameters and preventive maintenance.

Guideline 43 addresses health care HVAC systems as a comprehensive whole while also establishing a consistent practice for the maintenance and operation of these systems. It encourages the optimization of HVAC systems and the resources they use through the application of a maintenance program in conjunction with the appropriate application of alternative equipment maintenance and reliability-centered maintenance practices.

Since this guideline will establish baseline recommendations on operational parameters, tasks, and rates, ASHE members are strongly encouraged to review and provide vital input to ensure that these recommendations are valid. Based on the first public review, changes to the guideline have been made to the operating practices and implementation sections, and a risk-based ventilation management program plan process was also added.

ASHRAE/ASHE will address new comments received during this second public review this spring, and then vote on the new guideline with the hope of officially publishing it this summer.

To review and make comments on the new guideline, access the ASHRAE Public Review webpage.