Max H. Sherman, Ph.D.

(Accepting In-Person & Virtual Presentation Requests)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
Building 90 - Room 3074
Berkeley, CA 94720-0001
United States
(925) 917-0267
Region: X
Honorarium: None

Dr. Max Sherman is a retired Staff Senior Scientist from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research career spans over 40 years and 200 publications, most of which focus on buildings, energy efficiency, IAQ and HVAC. His most recognized research areas also include ventilation, thermal distribution systems, infiltration, IAQ, envelope-dominated buildings and most recently infectious aerosol control. He gives technical lectures frequently and has appeared in the popular media on issues of energy, ventilation and duct tape. He is an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham.

Professor Sherman was one of the youngest to be made an ASHRAE Fellow and has had a distinguished career since being elevated including winning the Holladay Distinguished Fellow award—Society’s highest technical level. He has received the Exceptional Achievement award and most recently the Standards Achievement award. He has chaired SPC 62.2, the committee which developed ASHRAE’s residential ventilation standard. He served as a Director-At-Large for the Society in 2001-2004 as well as numerous councils and committees. He continues to be an active member of ASHRAE including work on SSPC 62.2 and international activities. He currently serves on the Environmental Health Committee and as vice-chair of ASHRAE Standard 241.

Ventilation: The Once and Future King

Before man lived indoors, there was ventilation.  This talk will look at an historical perspective of ventilation, including the reasons for ventilation then and now, the methods of ventilation then and now, and the amounts of ventilation then and now.  In our modern society outdoor air can contain a variety of contaminants that we do not want in our buildings and this talk will discuss some reasons for not wanting to ventilate.

Dr. Duct Tape

The serious side of duct tape is that duct leakage, especially in homes, can waste 20-40% of the energy that goes through the ducts. The study of duct leakage led to the finding that duct tape does not work on ducts.  This talk will examine that research, but also entertain the lighter side with the story of one researcher’s “15 minutes of fame” that results when a serious piece of work catches the fancy of the popular press.

ASHRAE’s Residential Ventilation Standards

In 1996 ASHRAE decided to split one of its major standards, Standard 62 into pieces representing different major occupancies.  ASHRAE Standard 62.2 was first passed in 2003 and is republished regularly—the most recent of which is 2016.  This talk will explain what is in the standard, what it means to occupants and to those professionals who do residential design, and a bit of how it all came to be.  The enhanced interest in high performing homes has generated a string of controversies on facets of this standard and these will be discussed. The need to continually improve this standard has led to the need to improve related standards such as those for filter efficiency, air tightness measurements, flow hood calibration and range-hood capture efficiency.

ASHRAE Is In The House: Past, Present and Future Initiatives in Residential Building Performance
Since the middle of the 20th century, ASHRAE has focused primarily on HVAC systems for large buildings such as office buildings. As the Society turned its attention to energy and sustainability, it realized that more energy is spent in residential buildings than commercial ones and people spend most of their time in dwellings. In the 2014 Strategic Plan, the Society made raising ASHRAE’s profile in the residential arena one of its five initiatives. That has resulted in a variety of changes within the Society including the creation of a new Standing Committee to coordinate efforts both internally and with other residential stakeholders. This talk provide information on the past, present and hopefully future activities of ASHRAE relative to where we live.
Smart Ventilation and IAQ Metrics

The purpose of ventilation is to dilute indoor contaminants to provide health and wellness. We generally think of ventilation as a set-and-forget flow rate for a given space. The amount needed can vary not only with the number of occupants but also with ambient conditions and occupant activities. The cost of providing that ventilation can vary over time because of things like utility rates and weather.

Smart ventilation allows the ventilation rate to varied to be below the nominal ventilation rate at some times and above it at others in order to provide at least equivalent dilution but in ways than can better optimize costs and/or Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). IAQ Metrics goes beyond ventilation to look at ways to quantify the air quality of indoor spaces, which would allow not only the evaluation of those spaces, but also an incentive to develop and implement innovative systems. Outside of simplistic Demand Controlled Ventilation systems, the development of these concepts is advancing first in the residential sector, although applicable to most buildings.

ASHRAE Standard 241-Control of Infectious Aerosols
ASHRAE, through its Epidemic Task Force, provided timely leadership in responding to the COVID19 pandemic from March 2020 through June 2022. At the request of the White House, ASHRAE undertook its own project Warp Speed to build on that expertise for the future. In December 2022, the ASHRAE Board committed to quickly writing a standard to make buildings more resilient against infectious aerosols ahead of the next epidemic. In only four months the project committee created and won approval for ASHRAE Standard 241-2023. In this Lecture a member of the 241 project committee will provide a summary of the standard including its purpose, scope, and key requirements with supporting background.