ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - 39

COLUMN IEQ APPLICATIONS

with preexisting conditions such as asthma or heart
disease.2 While most healthy people will recover quickly
from exposure to smoke during a wildfire episode, some
susceptible populations are also at greater risk of health
effects, including pregnant women, infants, children
and older adults.2

provide HVAC. These recommendations are not intended
for single-family homes or individual dwelling tunits.
Health-care facilities and other specialized buildings

When Do Building Managers Need to Take Action?

TABLE 1 Decision matrix for implementing the Smoke Readiness Plan.
SMOKE CONDITIONS a

ANSWERS

Currently smoky?
Forecast to be smoky in the
coming days?

ACTION

No Carry on with normal operations, and
No have your Smoke Readiness Plan
prepared and ready.

Knowing when to implement building measures is
Currently smoky?
Yes Consider implementing Smoke
critical for building managers. State and local health
Forecast to be smoky in the
No Readiness Plan.
coming days?
departments may issue air quality notifications when
Currently smoky?
No Consider implementing Smoke
actions are needed to protect the public, and these notiForecast to be smoky in the
Yes Readiness Plan.
fications help building managers know when to initicoming days?
ate smoke mitigation efforts, outlined in their " Smoke
Currently smoky?
Yes Implement Smoke Readiness Plan.
Readiness Plan. " Table 1 provides an easy to use decision
Forecast to be smoky
Yes
tomorrow?
matrix to help managers know when to implement the
aTo find out more about local ambient air quality see AirNow.gov
plan. The planning framework suggests that building
and state websites.3,4
managers consider implementing the plan when smoky
conditions are likely to affect vulnerFIGURE 1 Process for making a building smoke ready.
able populations.*
Before Wildfire Season
Develop a Smoke Readiness Plan
* Perform Maintenance on HVAC
* Upgrade System Filter and Test HVAC
* Optimize System Airflows
* Add Supplemental Filtration
* Create Ability to Assess Filter Conditions
* Limit Smoke Intrusion
* Add Ability to Monitor Indoor PM2.5
* Determine How to Create Temporary
Cleaner Air Spaces
* Anticipate Sources of Indoor PM2.5

What is the Scope of the Framework?
This planning framework primarily focuses on reducing exposure to
particulate matter and applies to most
commercial buildings (e.g., retail,
office space), schools, multiunit residential buildings and similar buildings that use air-handling units to

Wildfire Smoke

Test HVAC
System in
Smoke Ready
Mode

Look for
State/
Local Air
Quality
Alerts

Implement
The Smoke
Readiness
Plan

Monitor the
Effectiveness
Of the Plan
and Adjust

Operate
In Smoke
Ready Mode
Until Smoke
Subsides

FIGURE 2 Flowchart for making a building smoke ready.

Before Wildfire Season

Develop Smoke
Readiness Plan
(Modify/Maintain HVAC
To Remove Smoke From
Incoming Air, Prevent
Infiltration, Monitor
PM2.5, Plan Temporary
Cleaner Air Spaces)

Adjust Smoke
Readiness Plan

Wildfire Smoke

Test HVAC
System in
Smoke Ready
Conditions
If
Install a
Lower Rated Not
(Minimum
MERV 11)
Filter

Is This System
Able to: 1) Operate
With MERV 13
Filters?
2) Maintain
Positive Building
Air Pressure?

Plan for
Additional
Temporary
Cleaner Air
Spaces

State/Local Air
Quality Alert
Implement Smoke
Readiness Plan

Are the Actions
Reducing Indoor PM?

Operate in Smoke
Ready Mode Until
Smoke Subsides

If
Check/Replace Filters, Not
Look For/Fix Cracks
in Building Envelope
Create Additional
and Reduce Indoor PM
Temporary Cleaner Air
Sources
Spaces

MARCH 2021

ashrae.org

ASHRAE JOURNAL

39


http://www.AirNow.gov http://www.ashrae.org

ASHRAE Journal - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - March 2021

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - 6
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - 7
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ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - March 2021 - Cover4
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