AIVC - Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre

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ECA Mandate

For more than 16 years now the European Collaborative Action ECA "Indoor Air Quality & it's Impact on Man" has been implementing a multidisciplinary collaboration of European scientists the ultimate goal of which was the provision of healthy and environmentally sustainable buildings. To accomplish this task ECA has dealt with all aspects of the indoor environment including thermal comfort, pollution sources, the quality and quantity of chemical and biological indoor pollutants, energy use, and the ventilation processes, which may all interact with indoor air quality.

Introduction

26 April 2012, Conference, Brussels - Superinsulating materials

The energy and environmental challenges ahead of us are tremendous; a reduction of the heat flow through opaque building elements remains a top priority. This is not only the case for new buildings but even more for existing buildings. Whereas in the past insulation layers in the building envelope yielded rarely more than 100 mm of thickness, the tightening of the requirements and targets will lead to substantially thicker layers with classical insulation materials. Especially for renovation, the thickness of internal or external insulation layers becomes a major issue of concern.

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18-19 March 2013, Workshop, Brussels - Securing the quality of ventilation systems in residential buildings: status and perspectives

While it is generally accepted that a ventilation system in a building—whether natural, mechanical or hybrid—is needed to provide acceptable indoor air quality and prevent building damage, there are debates about the actual performance of these systems and how the deviations observed affect the overall buildings performance and the well-being or safety and health of the occupants. These debates are increasingly active given the sensitivity of new and renovated buildings on energy use and indoor air quality depending on the field characteristics of ventilation systems.

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19-20 March 2013, Workshop, Brussels - Ventilative Cooling Need, Challenges and Solution Examples

The current development in building energy efficiency towards nearly zero energy buildings represents a number of new challenges to design and construction of buildings. One of the major new challenges is the increased need for cooling present in these highly insulated and airtight buildings, which is not only present in the summer period but also in the shoulder seasons and in offices even during occupied hours in winter. In most post‐occupancy studies of high performance buildings in European countries elevated temperature levels is the most reported problem, especially in residences.

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28-29 March 2012, Workshop, Brussels - Achieving relevant and durable airtightness levels: status, options and progress needed

Adequate ventilation as well as good envelope and ductwork airtightness represent a specific challenge for new or renovated nearly zero-energy buildings. Alone, they can represent over 50% of a building's total space heating (or cooling) needs, and their share often increases with increasing energy performance.

This is the reason why many issues have arisen in the past few years regarding regulatory and voluntary initiatives to improve envelope and ductwork airtightness, bringing forward apparently simple questions such as:

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30-31 March 2011, Workshop, Brussels -Full scale test facilities for evaluation of energy and hygrothermal performances

Ambitious targets on transforming the building stock into a highly energy efficient and low carbon environment demand also very performing scientific tools for the evaluation of the energy performance of improved building envelopes and construction techniques. Full scale testing becomes –again- more relevant, in combination with dynamic analysis and numerical simulation tools.

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11-12 October 2010, Workshop, Brussels - Dynamic Methods for Building Energy Assessment

The workshop will highlight the Status, Classical approaches and New concepts covering areas where intelligent analysis techniques can be used for the following topics: 

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14-15 June 2010, Workshop, Brussels - Large scale national implementation plans for building airtightness assessment : a must for 2020!

It is expected that many countries will between 2015 and 2020 have regulations imposing requirements for new buildings which are near-zero energy targets. This has major consequences:

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18-19 March 2014, Workshop, Brussels - Quality of Methods for Measuring Ventilation and Air Infiltration in Buildings

There is a trend to perform more ventilation and air infiltration measurements in buildings, either to strengthen commissioning procedures or to learn from field data. This trend is stronger in nearly zero-energy buildings projects or programmes given the significant share of ventilation and infiltration losses on total building energy use.

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