ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, provides guidance on various aspects of building design, including wildfire mitigation. While my knowledge is based on information available up until September 2021, I can offer some general principles that ASHRAE promotes for reducing the impact of wildfires on buildings. It is advisable to refer to the latest ASHRAE publications and guidelines for the most up-to-date information on this topic.
- Building Design and Construction: ASHRAE encourages the use of fire-resistant materials and designs that minimize potential ignition sources. This includes selecting fire-resistant roofing materials, using non-combustible siding, and considering the installation of fire-resistant windows and doors.
- Ventilation Systems: Properly designed and maintained ventilation systems can help mitigate the impact of wildfire smoke on indoor air quality. ASHRAE recommends installing high-efficiency air filters capable of capturing fine particles, sealing any air leaks, and ensuring the ventilation system is functioning optimally during wildfire events.
- Filtration and Air Cleaning: ASHRAE suggests utilizing air filtration systems capable of removing fine particulate matter and smoke from indoor air. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are commonly recommended for this purpose, as they can capture a significant portion of airborne particles.
- Pressurization and Infiltration: ASHRAE advises considering positive pressurization strategies in buildings during wildfire events. By maintaining higher air pressure indoors relative to outdoors, it is possible to reduce the infiltration of smoke and other outdoor pollutants.
- Emergency Preparedness: ASHRAE emphasizes the importance of emergency planning and preparedness to protect building occupants during wildfires. This includes having a robust evacuation plan, ensuring the availability of backup power sources, and educating occupants about appropriate actions to take in case of a wildfire event.
It is important to note that ASHRAE’s guidance is intended to complement local building codes, regulations, and guidance from relevant authorities responsible for wildfire safety. Always consult with local experts and authorities to ensure compliance with specific regional requirements for wildfire mitigation.