ASHRAE’s thermal comfort standard — find out what’s new for 2017

by Brianna Crandall — November 3, 2017 — The 2017 edition of global building technology society ASHRAE’s major thermal comfort standard has been published to incorporate seven published addenda to the 2013 edition.

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.” The 2017 edition includes a new requirement to calculate the change in occupants’ thermal comfort from direct solar radiation.

Abhijeet Pande, chair of the Standard 55 committee, explained:

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.

The three comfort calculations methods provided in the 2017 edition 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.

Other additions include:

  • Simplification of Appendix A to a single procedure for calculating operative temperature;
  • Clearly stated requirements and calculation procedures appearing sequentially;
  • An update to the scope to ensure the standard is not used to override health and safety;
  • Critical process requirements; and
  • Removal of permissive language.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2017, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, is available for purchase at $89 for ASHRAE members, or $105 for non-members) from the ASHRAE Bookstore.