News Brief

ASHRAE's Indoor Air Quality Guide Now Available Free

Indoor air quality resource goes beyond ventilation standards, offering best practices in building construction.

Did you know pest management is a strategy to promote good indoor air quality? ASHRAE's Indoor Air Quality Guide recommends sealing potential pest entry routes, such as around the refrigerant lines of an air conditioner, as shown here.

Source: ASHRAE Indoor Air Quality Guide, courtesy of Terry Brennan

In an effort to promote better indoor air quality, ASHRAE recently made its design and construction guide for indoor air quality available for free through its online bookstore.

Released in 2009, The Indoor Air Quality Guide: Best Practices for Design, Construction and Commissioning is the companion—long-awaited—to ASHRAE’s minimum ventilation requirements. According to the ASHRAE Journal, the organization had intended to develop the best practices guide as early as the development of ASHRAE 62.1 in 1997. Still considered an integral resource today, the guide has been made free in honor of ASHRAEs 2013–14 theme, “Shaping the Next.”

The resource is divided into two sources of information: a summary guide for reference during conceptual design, and a more detailed guideline section for later project phases. “The main thing to understand is each topic is covered in two locations,” Terry Brennan, a member of the ASHRAE 62.2 Ventilation and Air Quality Committee, told EBN. Where pest management stands as one of the guide’s 40 strategies, the summary section lists “block, seal, or eliminate pest entry points,” among other approaches, and links to recommendations on basaltic sand barriers and foundation vents found in the other section.

The report also offers materials to demonstrate the value of indoor air quality measures to clients and highlights how design and construction teams can coordinate at different stages of the design and construction process.


Published September 30, 2013

Pearson, C. (2013, September 30). ASHRAE's Indoor Air Quality Guide Now Available Free. Retrieved from

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a BuildingGreen Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.


October 16, 2013 - 2:30 pm

Thanks for your comment Hal,

You are correct that the IAQ guide is different than the Standard 62.1 User’s Manual, but I do not agree that this article confuses the two as you assert. Perhaps you misunderstood my description of the IAQ guide as a “companion to ASHRAE’s minimum ventilation requirements.”

The IAQ guide supplements the ASHRAE 62.1 standard by filling the gaps between what is achieved by a minimum requirement and what else is needed to realize good indoor air quality. It serves a different purpose than the user’s manual, which as you mention, helps designers apply the standard’s requirements, but it is likewise intended as a companion resource in order to provide the “wide range of potentially useful information such as background information, case studies, or discussion of design approaches and technologies that could improve IAQ but which are not appropriate for minimum requirements for all buildings,” according to the ASHRAE Journal article referenced in the newspiece.

Terry Brennan was used as a source for this article, because he served on the expert committee to develop the IAQ guide.

October 14, 2013 - 11:33 am

It is fantastic that ASHRAE is offering the IAQ Guide for free download. It is by far the most comprehensive and valuable guide to achieving good IAQ by design and construction in non-residential buildings.

The BuildngGreen article by Candace Pearson confuses the "IAQ Guide" with the "Standard 62.1 User's manual." They are completely different.

1. The first is free, the second costs $75.

2. Standard 62.1 is a minimum, code-intended standard developed by a consensus process that includes both industry and professional input. The User's Manual is intended to help designers apply its requirements.

3. The 700+ page IAQ Guide conveys the best available knowledge on achieving good indoor air quality in commercial buildings by design and construction. It does not address operation.

Terry Brennan's comments are correct, and they point to some of the portions of the guide that reflect Brennan's vast experience in residential buildings. But the IAQ Guide is for commercial buildings, the subject of Standard 62.1, and the committee on which Brennan serves is responsible for Standard 62.2 which applies only to low-rise residential buildings.