ASHRAE releases 2017 edition of thermal comfort standard

The new version incorporates seven published addenda to the 2013 edition and includes a new requirement to calculate the impact of direct solar radiation on the thermal comfort of building occupants

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ASHRAEs updated thermal comfort standard includes a new requirement to calculate the impact of direct solar radiation [representational image].
ASHRAEs updated thermal comfort standard includes a new requirement to calculate the impact of direct solar radiation [representational image].

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced the publication of the 2017 edition of its major thermal comfort standard.

According to ASHRAE, the new version incorporates seven published addenda to the 2013 edition and includes a new requirement to calculate the impact of direct solar radiation on the thermal comfort of building occupants.

In a statement, the society noted that ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2017, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, simplifies the language of the 2013 standard and clarifies the three comfort calculation approaches in Section 5.3.3, "Elevated Air Speed".

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These three comfort calculation approaches are: a graphic method for simple situations; an analytical method for more general cases; and a method that uses elevated air speed to provide comfort as three comfort calculation methods.

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Commenting on the updates, Abhijeet Pande, chair of the Standard 55 committee, said: “The updates to Standard 55-2017 are the result of a continuing series of modifications made based on new research, experience, and proposals from designers, manufacturers, and users.

“Standard 55 has been rewritten with a renewed focus on application of the standard by practitioners and use of clear, enforceable language.”

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The 2017 edition of the standard also includes a simplification of Appendix A to a single procedure for calculating operative temperature, clearly stated requirements and calculation procedures that appear sequentially, an update to the scope to ensure the standard is not used to override health safety, and critical process requirements.

Permissive language has also been removed from the new edition, added ASHRAE.

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