While last month’s Advocacy Adviser column focused on the ASHRAE standards-maintenance process, this month’s column will go further into the ASHRAE public review process.

Typically, public reviews are open for 30-45 days to provide the public ample time to review the proposed changes and make comments. All comments must be submitted electronically via the ASHRAE website so that they can be managed by the Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC). Public review comments received during an open public review are reported to all members of the SSPC. An effort to resolve all negative public review comments are made by the SSPC and each negative commenter is advised of the disposition of the objections and reasons. After consideration of comments or because of new information, the SSPC may make changes to the draft. If the committee determines that a full subsequent public review is required because of these changes, the public review process is initiated again regarding the changes.

Once the public comments are resolved and the committee is satisfied with the proposed change, the committee will recommend to the ASHRAE board of directors publishing the proposal as an addendum to the current standard. For those standards that are co-published by the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE), approval also must be obtained from the ASHE board.

Once approvals are obtained, ASHRAE recommends the proposal to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which verifies that the public consensus process was followed and, if approved by ANSI, the addendum is published and posted on ASHRAE’s website.

Access the ASHRAE Online Standards Actions & Public Review Drafts web page  and the ASHRAE Standards Addenda web page to engage in ASHRAE's public review process.

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