> >I'm a member of both ASHRAE and ACGIH. Every building I've planned needs design elements from both types of engineering. ASHRAE should limit their standards to the systems in the name of their organization.
Thanks, Monona, for raising this very important point.
I was on the committee that worked on this standard for 5 years and the issue you identified was a topic of ongoing discussion. The goal of the committee was provide guidance to a laboratory design team about lab ventilation requirements that would be valuable over the life of the building, given the many changes in chemical uses that most laboratories experience. We also wanted to serve as broad a range of laboratory uses as possible, from high school settings to high hazard research laboratories.
With this in mind, we believe that ventilation design decisions are best informed by a risk assessment of the chemistry to be conducted in the space. However, many of the design engineers involved in the committee's work had experience with projects where either industrial hygiene expertise, or sufficient information to support such an assessment was not available.
With this in mind, the Design Levels described in the document are intended to provide a communication tool between the designers and the occupants as to the wide variety of decisions are made in the ventilation design process. There were many discussions about the design details involved at each of the levels, but it is ultimately the Professional Engineer who bears the liability for the design choices made in the construction process. Thus, they will be the ones who decide what ventilation design the building will have.
For this reason, I hope that DCHAS members and others with lab design expertise will review this standard carefully so that they understand how the designers and chemical health and safety experts can most effectively partner in meeting this need. It is a very interesting challenge to address.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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