Updated: Jan 21

I keep reading about how important it is to know the ASHRAE standards that LEED uses. I've always been a lot more successful with memorization when I learn more about something than I need to - so I'm including explanations of the standards along with some memory tricks that will hopefully help.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have five standards that LEED references regularly:

52.2 | General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size

Memory trick: Standard 52.2 is related to 62.1 as they both deal with ventilation. The smaller one has to do with particles.

Offers testing procedures for the evaluation of air filtration by particle size. This helps cut down on the amount of dust and other particles that can linger in an indoor space. The way filtration is measured is using the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). MERV filters range from 1-16.

55 | Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy

Memory trick: Thermostats measure in whole numbers. This is the only standard that is a whole number. The standard for thermal comfort is related to a thermostat. 55 degrees is uncomfortable.

This standard offers the minimum acceptable conditions for human occupancy. It considers environmental and personal factors to produce indoor temperatures that are acceptable to most people within the space. It considers clothing, metabolic rates, time spent, adaptivity to outdoor conditions, and occupant control.

62.1 | Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality

Memory trick: Standard 62.1 is related to 52.2 as they both deal with ventilation. The bigger one deals with the big picture, minimizing health effects with procedures.

This standard specifies minimum ventilation rates that minimize adverse health effects. During construction, a MERV 8 rated filter is required. Before occupancy, a MERV 13 or higher must be installed and a two week flush-out performed using 100% outside air.

90.1 | Energy Standard for Buildings

Memory trick: Anything greater than 90% is considered an A grade in academics. Energy efficiency is incredibly important to LEED. The best and highest ASHRAE standard is greater than 90 in the same way that an A is the best and highest grade in school.

The minimum standard for energy efficiency for most buildings (except low-rise residential). This is a benchmark for commercial buildings and the standard that engineers around the world use for new buildings, new portions of buildings, and new systems within existing buildings. It also covers criteria for determining compliance with these standards.

189.1 | Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings

Memory trick: This one might be a stretch - but 1891 backwards is 1981, and the 1980s is when 'sustainable development' started being used as a way to define energy efficient building practices.

This is the minimum standard for designing buildings (except low-rise residential) for environmental and health performance. This standard can be used for the design and construction of buildings place of the International green Construction Code (IgCC).

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