Unlike National Fire Protection Association regulations, ASHRAE standards are on a continuous maintenance process that can be revised via proposed changes at any time. These actions are taken by completing the ASHRAE Form for Submittal of Proposed Change to an ASHRAE Standard Under Continuous Maintenance, also known as a CMP proposal, which is available at ASHRAE’s website.

ASHRAE staff review the submitted CMP for accuracy to ensure that it shows changes to the most recent published version of the standard and may communicate with the proposer as needed. Once this is complete, ASHRAE staff forward the CMP to the Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC) for committee action and response.

The SSPC typically assigns a task force or committee member to review the proposal and draft a recommended response. The committee’s options for responding to the proposal are: (a) proposed change accepted for public review without modification; (b) proposed change accepted for public review with modification; (c) proposed change accepted for further study; and (d) proposed change rejected.

The response should provide reasons for any recommendation other than option a, and option c should not be used unless the further study can be completed within seven months of approval of the option. Upon completion of further study, the SSPC should approve response option a, b or d. The SSPC chair will ensure that the approved committee response is conveyed to the proposer within 13 months of receipt by the manager of standards. If option a or b is approved, the proposed change will be sent out for public review in accordance with Procedures for ASHRAE Standards Actions.

Visit the website to find a continuous maintenance form. You can also submit comments to proposed changes to the standards posted for public review. Next month’s column will explore the public review process. 

Michael P. Sheerin, PE, LEED AP BD+C, chief executive officer of TLC Engineering for Architecture, and chair of ASHRAE Standard 170 and ASHRAE Standard 189.3.