When it comes to designing, constructing, and implementing various building systems within a new project, construction professionals must adhere to very specific guidelines. One of the most crucial building codes available is the International Residential Code Standard (IRC), a doctrine defining the necessary best practices for one- or two-family residential homes.
The document in its entirety can be found here, but for this section we will only be covering how it pertains to home ventilation requirements. The IRC was designed by the International Code Council, a premier regulatory group that provides comprehensive building guidelines to ensure safety and health requirements are met across borders.
To see the exact language used in the IRC’s venting ordinances, click here. The document goes into exact detail regarding specifications for each venting system.
Another set of crucial building codes which homeowners and contractors alike should understand are the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards.
ASHRAE is a leading global authority and professional association on HVAC engineering, design, and construction. Their standards regarding ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ) are consistently upheld within local and state ordinances, and it is likely that The ASHRAE Ventilation and IAQ Standards cover the minimum ventilation requirements, including rates and mechanics, for new and existing buildings. The goal of these standards is to ensure each ventilation system utilized within a building meets a level of indoor air quality that is “acceptable to human occupants and minimizes adverse health effects.”
In addition to regulations considered standard across international lines, it’s important to understand the local and regional ordinances which govern building construction.
There are a number of free resources available online for searching and finding building codes near you. If you are looking for ventilation building codes as designated by state, check out the buildingsguide.com State-By-State code archive. Through here, you can search each state’s official website for specific ventilation building code requirements.
Construct Connect’s website offers a slightly more in-depth database, which allows users to cross-reference building code data not only by state, but by the city as well.
Both databases provide homeowners and industry professionals with valuable resources for identifying what is needed to create a proper home ventilation system. Homeowners are also encouraged to ask their HVAC professionals for further details on how their specific company is accredited, and which practices they abide by, as inter-industry standards and best practices may be subject to variation depending on location.