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ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Standard revises indoor air requirements.

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November 30, 2010 - ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2010, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, incorporates research innovations such as use of elevated air speeds to widen acceptable range of thermal conditions for building occupants. It also includes method for determining cooling effect of air movement above 30 fpm. Compliance form for documentation of design, which mirrors USGBC's LEEDŽ template for thermal comfort design credit in LEED New Constuction-2009, is provided in appendix.

Newest Version of Thermal Comfort Standard Provides New Provisions on Elevated Air Speeds

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American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
1791 Tullie Circle, N.E.
Atlanta, GA, 30329

Press release date: November 29, 2010

ATLANTA - New requirements regarding air speeds, analysis and documentation are included in the newly published ASHRAE thermal comfort standard, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2010, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.

"The standard continues to focus on defining the range of indoor thermal environmental conditions acceptable to a majority of occupants, while also accommodating an ever increasing variety of design solutions intended to provide comfort and to respect today's imperative for sustainable buildings," Stephen Turner, of the Standard 55 Committee, said.

The standard specifies the combinations of indoor thermal environmental factors and personal factors that will produce thermal environmental conditions acceptable to a majority of the occupants within the space.

Standard 55 incorporates recent research innovations such as the use of elevated air speeds to widen the acceptable range of thermal conditions. The standard previously allowed modest increases in operative temperature beyond the Predicted Mean Vote/Percentage of Persons Dissatisfied (PMV/PPD) limits as a function of air speed and turbulence intensity.

The 2010 standard also includes a new method for determining the cooling effect of air movement above 0.15 m/s (30 fpm). This allows ceiling fans, or other means to elevate airspeed, to provide comfort at higher summer temperatures than were previously permissible. New provisions based on field study research allow elevated air speed to broadly offset the need to cool the air in warm conditions, replacing requirements that originated primarily from climate chamber studies.

Another revision makes clearer the mandatory minimum requirements for analysis and documentation of a design to show that it meets the standard's requirements. In addition, a compliance form for documentation of design is included in an informative appendix. This compliance template mirrors the United States Green Building Council's LEEDŽ template for the thermal comfort design credit in LEED New Constuction-2009, simplifying the LEED credit template for the designer during a project.

The 2010 version of the standard also includes improved and expanded graphics that better guide users of the standard in simple applications. Improvements to the SI and IP versions of the traditional "comfort zone" chart include enlargement, clarification and notes to aid users of the standard.

Standard 55 combines Standard 55-2004 and the 10 approved and published addenda to the 2004 edition into one easy-to-use, consolidated standard.

The cost of Standard 55 is $69 ($59, ASHRAE members). To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 404-321-5478, or visit

ASHRAE is an international technical society that fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.

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