ASHRAE is now a member of a world group aiming to increase knowledge of IAQ issues.

The agreement, creating the Indoor Environment Quality Global Alliance, was signed June 29 during the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers annual conference in Seattle.

ASHRAE joins the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre, the Air & Waste Management Association, the Indoor Air Quality Association and the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations.

The alliance is the result of an ad hoc committee formed by former society President Bill Bahnfleth to explore how the industry could address indoor air quality concerns.

In the built environment, indoor environmental quality must be our first concern,” Bahnfleth said. “Before we address impacts of buildings and transportation systems on energy consumption and the environment — which, make no mistake, are also critically important — we must ensure that we are providing indoor environments that are safe, healthy, productive and comfortable for occupants. Today, and for some time, we have strongly emphasized energy conservation and protection of the environment to such an extent that the need for progress in indoor environmental quality has been obscured. A broad, coordinated effort is needed to fill gaps in research, transfer the results of science to practice, advocate for higher standards and better educate both the built environment professions and the public. I believe that formation of this alliance is a key to meeting those objectives. ASHRAE is eager to contribute its expertise to this group and to once again be a leader in the field of indoor environmental quality, beginning with a focus on indoor air quality.”

Jim Powell, executive director of the Air and Waste Management Association, said the organization is looking forward to working with the other associations.

“The Air & Waste Management Association is pleased to be a part of this partnership,” Powell said. “We see the IEQ-GA as a forum to better focus efforts on improving the indoor environment.  Efforts to support this partnership will be coordinated with our Health Effects & Exposure Technical Coordinating Committee. This committee is responsible for all of the indoor environment programming within A&WMA.”

The IAQA made similar comments.

“The Indoor Air Quality Association, IAQA, is proud to join key organizations in signing the IEQ-GA agreement,” said Kent Rawhouser, president of the association. “This alliance of organizations will lead to collaboration between the best minds in our industry to ensure an improvement in indoor environmental conditions for people around the world. IAQA’s members are experts in the implementation, investigation and remediation of indoor environmental issues.”

The alliance is supported by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ASHRAE added.

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