ASHRAE has released an updated edition of its ventilation standard for health care facilities that has been expanded to reflect the new normal in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities offers guidance, regulation and mandates to designers of health care facilities. It incorporates 17 addenda to the 2017 edition.

Changes include: Expanded requirements to allow airborne infectious isolation room exhaust discharge to general exhaust under certain conditions; revised scope, with improved guidance on thermal comfort conditions;  and extensive modifications to address outpatient and residential sections of facilities and extensive revisions to air filtration requirements, according to ASHRAE.

The standard also contains expanded guidance on distance requirements for separation of varied intake and exhaust arrangements, coordinating with related ASHRAE Standard 62.1 data. And it offers improved guidance related to behavioral and mental health, according to ASHRAE.