We are working on a university building wich has 2 underground floors, with mechanical and storage rooms in them, all these rooms are adjacent to the stairs. There are no means to provide natural ventilation to these rooms and they are not regularly occupied, only for inspections or maintenance. ASHRAE 62.1 - 2007, table 6-1, states "storage rooms" with it associated building component ventilation requirement, but in ASHRAE 62.1 - 2010, table 6-1, the definition is "occupiable storage rooms" and there is no occupancy category for unoccupied storage or mechanical rooms.
It doesn´t make sense to have a mechanical ventilation system operating continously in this rooms, considering the minimum 15 minutes occupation, the investment on duct work and air handler units, and the energy consumption of the system.
Are we forced to implement a mechanical ventilation system in these spaces? Should it be acceptable to implement louvers (dimentioned to comply with natural ventilation) in the partitions adjacent to the stairs to ventilate the rooms throught them, even tho the stairs don´t have mechanical or natural ventilation on these underground floors?