INIVE / Research Group Building Physics UGent

KU Leuven

CurieuzeNeuzen: monitoring air quality together with 20.000 citizens

Traffic sources contribute a large portion of the ambient nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and ozone concentrations, the three ambient air pollutants with the largest impact on human health in Europe (EEA, 2018). High spatial resolution air quality data capturing the high spatial variability of this traffic related pollution are necessary in order to inform policy. The approach of environmental protection agencies around the world to measure using expensive monitoring stations allows monitoring in high temporal, but not spatial, resolution (Snyder et al., 2013).

Industry views on the future of ventilation

Smartness is all around us. The HVAC industry is developing more and more products that have sensors, are intelligent, are connected to the Internet and are being controlled via apps. According to a recent European survey among installers, the request and demand from clients for installing home automation and smart products is the highest for HVAC installations. 

Challenges and limitations of performance based approaches: the Belgian experience

Performance based approached for ventilation started to be used in Belgium in 2008 in the context of EP regulation. Until 2015, demand controlled ventilation (DCV) systems were considered as “innovative” products and were not directly taken into account in the EP calculation method. Their energy performance was then considered through a principle of equivalency. A first performance based approach was developed in this frame.  

HVAC and VOCs: interaction between building systems and indoor VOC concentrations

HVAC systems in newly built or extensively renovated dwellings were all developed with the aim for energy saving with equal or better comfort. However, these systems (floor heating and DCV systems) have certain characteristics which increase the emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and give VOCs the chance to accumulate to higher concentrations. This interaction is investigated based on dynamic simulations using a temperature and humidity dependent VOC emission model. 

Fungal growth on timber frame houses

Due to the increasingly stringent energy efficiency requirements, timber frame houses are becoming more and more popular across Europe. Since wood is an organic material, susceptible to mould growth and wood rot, an effective moisture control strategy is required to keep the moisture levels inside the building components to an acceptable level. Moisture related problems may affect the health of the inhabitants, or even jeopardize the building’s structural integrity.

Big humidity data from smart ventilation systems

A smart ventilation system is generally equipped with a range of sensors. The data – or data derived from it - collected by these sensors can be used by both building owners, occupants and managers. A new generation of IoT  enabled residential ventilation systems allows collecting and analysing this data at scale to get a better view on typical IAQ conditions in dwellings. In this paper, the results from such an analysis on the first 900 installed devices of a new model with respect to moisture in relatively new Belgian dwellings is presented. 

Efficiency of heat recovery ventilation in real conditions: feedback from several measurement campaigns

Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) is one of the usual techniques (next to demand controlled) to reduce the energy impact of ventilation in buildings. For a given air change rate, the energy savings of HRV are in the first place dependent of the heat-exchanger efficiency, usually measured in standardized laboratory conditions. However, many other factors can have an impact on the overall system performance in practice.