Building Enclosure Air Leakage in Commercial Buildings: Energy Codes, Testing and Practical Limitations

While the importance of air barrier systems in buildings has been understood for decades, it is only in the past decade or so that they have been given appropriate attention in the energy codes of most countries. While at least one country has had air barrier requirements in their codes since the mid-1980s, the “model energy codes” of others have largely ignored the issue until recently.

Techniques to Estimate Commercial Building Infiltration Rates

The estimation of low-rise, residential building infiltration rates using envelope airtightness values from whole building fan pressurization tests has been the subject of much interest and research for several decades, constituting a major topic of discussion during the early years of the AIVC. A number of empirical and model-based methods were developed, with their predictive accuracy evaluated in field studies around the world.

Simulation of control strategies for ventilation systems in commercial buildings

By the end of 2020 all newly constructed buildings have to be nearly zero energy buildings (nZEB). In school and office buildings the ventilation system has a large contribution to the total energy use. A smart control strategy that adjusts the operation of the ventilation to the actual demand can significantly reduce this energy use. Consequently, control systems are becoming an important part of the ventilation system in these nZEB buildings.

The development of integrated based-simulation design support system

This paper explores effective means to opt for the optimum design solutions of commercial buildings through developing a Based-Simulation Design Support System (BSDSS). The system is established by the integration between EnergyPlus and Radiance software programs. The design alternatives of a typical private office are developed and evaluated based on multi-attribute life-cycle analysis. Results show that there is still a potential to improve the building design especially at the early stage.

Simulation and analysis of the energy performance of an office building located in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

This paper aims to analyze an office building energy performance at Rio de Janeiro. Electrical power consumption profile of a building, resulting from a simulation using building energy-use simulation software, is obtained during a typical year and is shown on an hourly basis and pursuant to final uses. Thus, power consumption figures are obtained through the following final uses: lighting, office equipments, air conditioning and others.

Consideration of Envelope Airtightness in Modelling Commercial Building Energy Consumption

As strategies for improving building envelope and HVAC equipment efficiencies are increasingly required to reduce building energy use, a greater percentage of energy loss will occur through building envelope leakage. Although the energy impacts of unintended infiltration on a building's energy use can be significant, current energy simulation software and design methods are generally not able to accurately account for envelope infiltration and the impacts of improved airtightness.

Leakage Reductions for Large Building Air Sealing

This paper presents results from whole building air leakage tests used to document the leakage reduction due to envelope sealing and assess the accuracy of contractor's estimates of the impact of their sealing. The measurements also compare the differences in envelope leakage reductions determined from depressurization versus pressurization tests and determine mechanical system leakage.

U.S commercial building airtightness requirements and measurements

In 1998, Persily published a review of commercial and institutional building airtightness data that found significant levels of air leakage and debunked the myth of the airtight commercial building. Since that time, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has maintained a database of measured airtightness levels of U.S. commercial building leakages, in part to support the development and technical evaluation of airtightness requirements for national and state codes, standards and programs.

Thermal and ventilation modelling of large highly-glazed spaces.

Highly-glazed spaces are attractive in many ways (solar heating, aesthetics, etc.), however, their thermal behaviour remains difficult to predict. In such spaces, the assumptions or methods generally used in building thermal simulation tools - e.g. homogeneous air temperature in the room, simplified calculations of radiative heat transfer between walls, absence of airflow modelling within the room - do not seem appropriate. We have developed a new model (AIRGLAZE) to improve the prediction of the thermal behaviour of large highly glazed spaces.

Emissions of VOCs from building materials and the indoor air quality of a new naturally ventilated office building.

This study investigated the sources and concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including formaldehyde in the air of a new office and conference centre building. The building is naturally ventilated, and was designed to demonstrate a number of innovative approaches to environmental design. Occupant surveys have shown a high level of occupant satisfaction with the indoor environment.