In many design cases, energy as well as occupant comfort are the relevant criteria which are studied using computer simulation programs. Comfort evaluations cover air quality, thermal, visual and acoustical comfort. For all these individual aspects, specific simulation programs are available today, but very few programs allow for the integrated evaluation of several or all relevant parameters. The more, heat transport, ventilation as well as lighting are physically coupled and therefore must be integrally modelled in the simulation process.
The purpose of this study was to test an Indoor Air Quality model on a variety of Canadian homes, and use this model to determine the optimal ventilation levels necessary to provide appropriate comfort levels. The Indoor Air Quality model tested (the AQ1 program), was a single zone hour-by-hour model of air leakage, mechanical ventilation and pollutant concentration. Measured weekly air change rates were compared to the model's predicted rates, and sensitivity analysis' performed on a number of inputs.
lnadequate ventilation is often cited as the cause of unhealthy air quality within office buildings, whilst excessive ventilation is similarly assumed to be the cause of discomfort and energy waste. However, the reality is that very little data is available to assess the significance of these problems on any large scale. The perfuorocarbon tracer (PFT) technique offers the potential for overcoming the problems of applying conventional tracer gas techniques to large or multi-roomed buildings.