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Session Overview
WS26: ASHRAE’s New Position Document on Indoor Carbon Dioxide Concentrations
Wednesday, 15/June/2022:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Pawel Wargocki
Location: CA102

Session Abstract


Indoor carbon dioxide concentrations have played a role in discussions of ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ) for centuries. Those discussions have evolved to focus on the use of indoor CO2 as an IAQ metric, estimation of ventilation rates using CO2 as a tracer gas, control of outdoor air ventilation based on CO2 concentrations, and impacts of CO2 on building occupants. More recently, the measurement of indoor CO2 has been discussed in the context of airborne infectious disease transmission. However, many applications of indoor CO2 do not reflect a sound technical understanding of the relationship between indoor CO2 concentrations, ventilation and IAQ. Some applications have actually been technically flawed, leading to significant misinterpretations of indoor CO2. In response, ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) has recently issued a Position Document that discusses the role of indoor CO2 in the context of building ventilation and IAQ based on ASHRAE’s long involvement with those topics. The stated positions address the use of CO2 as a metric of IAQ and ventilation, the impacts of CO2 on building occupants, indoor concentration measurement, the use of CO2 to control outdoor air intake rates, and the relationship of indoor CO2 to airborne infectious disease transmission. This position document recommends research into the impacts of CO2 on occupant health, comfort and performance and on the application of indoor CO2 concentrations in building operation, as well as the development of guidance on the measurement and practical use of CO2 concentrations.


Aim #1: To explain the motivations behind the ASHRAE Position Document on indoor CO2.

Aim #2: To explain the positions and recommendations contained in the Position Document.

Aim #3: To engage the attendees in a discussion to identify topics that might not have been well-covered in the position document, to capture disagreements with the positions and reasons for those disagreements, and to generate additional ideas for future research and guidance.

Aim #4: To discuss other activities to clarify the roles of indoor CO2 in the field of ventilation and IAQ, to improve practitioner understanding of those roles, and to reduce misapplication of indoor CO2.


Overview of position document

Andrew Persily NIST

CO2 as an indicator of ventilation and IAQ

Lan Chi Nguyen Weeks La Cité College

Health and cognitive impacts of CO2 exposure

Howard Kipen Rutgers University

CO2 as an indicator of infection risk

William Bahnfleth Pennsylvania State University

Other issues for the future?

Pawel Wagocki Technical University of Denmark

Quantitative health impact assessment applied to schools’ indoor pollution

Hulin, Marion Sante Publique France

Considerations for updating European estimates of IABOD

Hänninen, Otto THL, Finland

Discussion on the ways forward

All participants

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ID: 318
Topics: 1a. Indoor air quality, health and wellbeing - Biologicals, gaseous, particles, 12. Regulation, standards, policy, guidelines, education
Keywords: carbon dioxide, policy, research, standards

ASHRAE’s New Position Document on Indoor Carbon Dioxide Concentrations

Chair(s): Pawel Wargocki (Technical University of Denmark)

Presenter(s): William Bahnfleth (The Pennsylvania State University, USA), Howard Kipen (Rutgers University School of Public Health, USA), Josephine Lau (University of Nebraska, USA), Corinne Mandin (Scientific and Technical Centre for Building, France), Andrew Persily (NIST, USA), Chandra Sekhar (National University of Singapore), Pawel Wargocki (Technical University of Denmark), Lan Chi Weekes (La Cité Collegiale, Canada)

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