What does a partnership between ASHRAE and CIBSE mean for Legionella bacteria risk management?

by Hilary Nardone, Environmental Group Training Manager
ASSE 12080 Professional Qualifications Standard for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel Certified

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) have entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) as of December 2020. This SPA “outlines how ASHRAE and CIBSE will work cooperatively on activities that service their respective memberships, to promote the advancement of a more sustainable built environment through HVAC&R technologies and their applications.”

What does this mean for Legionella bacteria risk management guidelines?

This partnership symbolizes a common goal of these two organizations: maintaining safe, healthy and efficient built environments. Additionally, it endorses their recognition of each other’s recommendations and guidance. These organizations have published individual standards with the goal of minimizing Legionella growth in building water systems and this partnership is yet another initiative to ensure that a facility is working towards minimizing waterborne pathogen risk effectively by complying with the most up-to-date standards and guidelines.

ASHRAE’s mission is to “serve humanity by advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and their allied fields.” This organization published ASHRAE Standard 188-2018. Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water SystemsThis standard is the foundation of Water Management Programs in controlling Legionella bacteria amplification in building water systems.

Based in the United Kingdom, CIBSE supports the “Science, Art and Practice of building services engineering…” CIBSE publishes Guidance and Codes that are internationally recognized, including its 2013 publication Mimimising the Risk of Legionnaires’ DiseaseThe guidance in this publication offers best practices for managing Legionella bacteria in building water systems, including routine cleaning and disinfection of showerheads and hoses, and regularly checking hot water temperatures at faucets to ensure proper heating throughout the facility. Similar to ASHRAE’s guideline 12-2020, Managing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems, CIBSE’s guideline is yet another great reference for building owners looking for specific control measures to implement for the minimization of Legionella bacteria proliferation in their building water systems.

Other initiatives focused on reduction of Legionnaires’ disease have occurred in 2020. The Joint Commission released proposed changes related to Water Management Program standards aimed at creating a more robust set of Elements of Performance, and ASSE International, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and the American National Standards Institute released ASSE 12080 Professional Qualifications Standard for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel.

Contact Barclay for your Water Management Program (WMP) needs. Barclay has created, implemented, and validated hundreds of WMPs in partnership with our Customers. Barclay continually utilizes best practice recommendations from organizations including but not limited to ASHRAE, CIBSE, CDC to minimize waterborne pathogens in building water systems and is dedicated to ensuring its WMPs comply with national and local standards and guidelines including ASHRAE Standard 188, CMS, local Health Departments, and the Joint Commission.


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