Trade-offs between ventilation rates and formaldehyde concentrations in new-build dwellings in the UK

The current policies and regulatory frameworks in the construction sector aim to improve energy efficiency of new buildings whilst maintaining acceptable level of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) including indoor air quality (IAQ). In practice, however, there are often important trade-offs between these objectives. The aim of this paper is to investigate the concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a recently built residential block in the UK and the potential trade-offs between ventilation rates and VOCs.

The Development of Archetypes to Represent the Chilean Housing Stock

There are three common methods used to analyse Indoor Air Quality in buildings: in-site measurements, laboratory measurements, or the simulation of indoor spaces using a validated computational model. Each have their advantages, but computational models are generally used to predict air quality in a wide range of indoor environments because they are quick, cheap, and non-invasive. A wide range of inputs are required to accurately simulate airflow and pollutant transport. However, this information may not exist or may only exist in abstract forms.

Model Home 2020 – full-year measurements of daylight, energy and indoor climate in five single-family houses occupied by typical families: what has been learned

This paper describes Post Occupancy Evaluation survey and physical measurements of five families living for one year or longer in five houses located in Germany, Austria, France and UK, all part of the Model Home 2020 project. The houses are built according to Active House principles and focus on high performance on indoor environmental quality, energy performance and environmental impact. The survey is carried out seasonally during the test year when the family lives in the house to capture seasonal variations. Physical measurements were made in all main rooms of the houses.

Airtightness and indoor air quality in subsidised housing in Spain

Over three million subsidised dwellings were built in Spain between 1940 and 1980. Most of these buildings are now obsolete and fail to comply with thermal comfort and ventilation standards. A building's existing energy performance, including its airtightness, should be determined prior to conducting low-energy refurbishment, for those factors, particularly the latter, impact thermal comfort, energy demand and indoor air quality (IAQ) fairly heavily.

Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Humidity Levels Measured in Belgian Standard and Low Energy Dwellings with Common Ventilation Strategies

One of the most commonly used strategies to reduce the heating demand in low energy buildings is reducing the leakage level of the building envelope. Dedicated ventilation systems are then installed to compensate for the reduced air change rate in an energy efficient way. Most occupants, however, operate their ventilation system at very low flow rates. Together with the emission of bio-effluents, linked to the presence of the occupants, moisture production related to household activities is one of the most important sources of indoor air pollution in dwellings.

Overview of the UK Residential Ventilation Market and Initiatives to Improve the Quality of the Installed Systems

New homes currently being built within the UK all incorporate some type of ventilation system, the majority of which are of the fixed mechanical fan type. These generally come in three generic designs known as single room background ventilators, continuous mechanical systems and continuous mechanical systems with heat recovery. Installation, inspection and commissioning of these systems is covered by Building Regulations, and there are training schemes in place which allow individuals to become Competent Persons to undertake these tasks.

Airtightness assessment of single family houses in Belgium

Airtight construction lies at the heart of achieving high energy performance in dwellings. But how well does it apply in new construction? This paper presents results from airtightness measurements on 44 randomly selected, standard new built single family houses in Belgium and from 4 case studies including 78 additional measurements. The houses were randomly selected after completion, to assure that standard workmanship was used during construction.

Shelter in place effectiveness in the event of toxic gas releases: French and Catalan assessment approach

Origins of toxic gas clouds may be diverse, including accidental releases due to industry or to hazardous materials transportation, or biological or chemical attacks. A protection to such a phenomenon consists in taking advantage of the protection offered by buildings against airborne pollutants. In this event, people can shelter in a building and wait until the toxic plume has gone.

Ventilation in Self-Built Houses - A Study Through Wind Tunnel Measurements in Campinas, Brazil

Natural ventilation of buildings is a design strategy for the passive cooling of buildings that can be considerably efficient if properly undertaken. In Brazil, as in many other developing countries, spontaneous (self build) housing is often of poor quality. Also, each of these dwellings has a negative impact on the neighbouring ones and on the impact on the urban environment. In the city of Campinas, Brazil, with its hot-humid climate, adequate ventilation is essential for thermal comfort.

Radon control in Estonia

Radon surveys started in Estonia in 1989. The Department Building Physics at the Estonian BuildingResearch Institute measured radon levels in dwellings, in building materials produced in the country,and in the soil. The indoor radon concentrations in more than 400 houses were measured under grabsamplingtechniques using Lucas cells. The highest measured radon level was 6700 Bqm-3. The resultsof these measurements made during 1989-91 showed that the main source of indoor radon is the soilunderneath buildings.