Public Session Addresses Post-9/11 Fears

At this year's Winter Meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, a public session revealed ASHRAE's efforts to offer guidance on maintaining healthy, safe buildings in the face of terrorist threats...

01/22/2002


At this year's Winter Meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, a public session revealed ASHRAE's efforts to offer guidance on maintaining healthy, safe buildings in the face of terrorist threats.

The session, called The Aftermath of 9/11/01: Ensuring the Safety of America's Buildings, was primarily a discussion of ASHRAE's newly formed Presidential Study Group on Health and Safety Under Extraordinary Incidents. The group, chaired by James E. Woods, Ph.D., P.E., chairman of ASHRAE's Environmental Health Committee, was formed shortly after the events of September 11, in part to combat some misinformation published by the general media about building security and ventilation.

"ASHRAE's mission calls for us to be the foremost, authoritative, timely and responsive source of technical information," says William Coad, P.E., president of ASHRAE. "Much of our technology and knowledge developed for improved indoor air quality and fire safety can be applied to protecting building environments."

The public session noted the study group's progress, and offered some preliminary recommendations for building owners and operators, including:

  • Controlling access to air intakes and air-handling units.

  • Coordinating the ventilation system with fire/life-safety systems.

  • Creating a preparedness plan for the case of an emergency.

  • Consulting building officials and experts before altering existing systems.

The Study Group is slated to give its next progress report in June, and publish a final report by January 2003. For more information on ASHRAE standards and research projects, visit their website at www.ashrae.org .





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