Guide with Great Graphics

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the February 2010 newsletter.

There are some great organizations that we have never featured on IAQ Website of the Month, typically because they lack free content on their website. This month we can now highlight one of my favorite groups, thanks to an EPA grant.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) finally has some free IAQ content… and it was worth the wait.

In partnership with several other organizations, ASHRAE has written the “Indoor Air Quality Guide”. The guide is divided into two parts: Summary Guidance and Detailed Guidance. ASHRAE offers the 176 page Summary Guidance for free on their website. However, you’ll need to pay to access the Detailed Guidance. After paying $29 + $12.50 shipping, you’ll receive a bound hard copy of the Summary Guidance and a CD that includes both the Summary and the 527 page Detailed Guidance.

Getting the free Summary Guidance isn’t as easy as clicking on a link. You need to first register on this page: You’ll then receive an email with a link to download the PDF file. Be sure to save it somewhere on your computer that you will remember.

The Summary Guidance provides a great overview for designing commercial and institutional buildings with improved indoor air quality. The guide mostly targets design and construction issues, but there are some sections that apply to operation as well. If every architect had a copy of this guide, we would see a serious improvement to the indoor environment.

My favorite feature of the guide is the wonderful illustrations. Each of the 40 strategies includes a graphical guide that illustrates the key principle. I really liked these illustrations:

  • Building pressurization on page 35
  • Outdoor intake issues on page 59
  • Typical commercial HVAC system on page 83

It is well worth the investment to purchase the Detailed Guidance. It includes more high quality graphics and content. It’s rare to be able to get such great a great reference book for under $30.

To visit this month’s featured website, click: ASHRAE’s IAQ Guide.

To subscribe to this newsletter click the following link: IAQ Website of the Month.

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