A request for interpretation may be either 'official' or 'unofficial' (personal). An official interpretation is defined as a written explanation of the meaning of a specific provision of a standard or guideline, as determined by an existing cognizant Project Committee (PC) or an Interpretation Committee (IC), in response to a written request. An unofficial interpretation is defined as a written explanation of the meaning of a specific provision of a standard or guideline, as determined by the ASHRAE Technology Department Staff, in response to a written request.
ASHRAE will not normally respond to a follow-up request for official interpretation to confirm a previous unofficial interpretation. A typical response time for an unofficial interpretation is 30 days, while the official interpretation might require 6-12 months for response. Responses to requests for official interpretations must be approved by the cognizant committee, which normally meets twice a year in conjunction with the ASHRAE Society meetings.
The requester shall decide whether to request an 'official' or 'unofficial' interpretation. Requests for official interpretation must meet the requirements of Section 10 of the Standards Committee Reference Manual. See procedures below. If an official interpretation is requested, the requester must complete and submit the Form for Requesting an 'Official' Interpretation to a Standard or Guideline included below. If an unofficial interpretation is requested, the requester can simply submit the interpretation or questions in an e-mail. There is no official form for requesting an unofficial interpretation. Contact information, including e-mail address and phone number, must be included with each request.
The official interpretations available on the ASHRAE Standards website at
Interpretations will provide the requester with the general format.
An interpretation shall not be used to change the content of a standard or guideline. Letters that are in fact not requests for interpretation but rather proposals for changes to published standards or guidelines will be referred to the cognizant PC if one exists.
Procedures for Requesting an Interpretation - (June 2011) (PDF)
Form for Requesting an 'Official' Interpretation to a Standard or Guideline (March 2012) (Word Document)
Interpretation requests for the currently published edition of a standard or guideline shall be submitted to the MOS.
Manager of Standards
1791 Tullie Circle, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329-2305