Impact of airtightness on the heat demand of passive houses in central European climate

Excessive air leakage through the building envelope increases the infiltration heat loss and therefore lowers the energy efficiency. Therefore, very good airtightness is required in case of well insulated buildings equipped with a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery (e.g. n50 < 0.6 h-1 for passive houses). Although the building industry has progressively adopted strategies to comply with such strict limits, it is still important to study how and how much the airtightness influences the energy efficiency of different types of buildings in different climatic conditions.

Numerical evaluation of the airtightness impact on energy needs in mechanically ventilated dwellings

With the increasing need for higher energy efficiency in buildings, airtightness and ventilation systems choice become major performance issues in well insulated buildings. Buildings energy requirements lead to adapt ventilation strategies in order to reduce energy losses through mechanical balanced or extract ventilation. With the new French thermal regulation, the use of energy-efficient ventilation systems is implicitly required; low air infiltration is explicitly required in residential buildings through minimum airtightness levels.

Evaluation of ventilative cooling in a single family house

A characterization and modeling process has been conducted in order to better account for ventilative cooling in the evaluation of energy performance of buildings. The proposed approach has been tested using a monitored zero energy Active House (Maison Air et lumière) located near Paris.