Nowadays it is rather common with demand controlled ventilation in public buildings and offices. The purpose of demand controlled ventilation is to adapt the ventilation to the varying needs of the occupations. In dwellings it is rather unusual with demand controlled system. The main reason for that is the high investment cost for the system. The outdoor air used for ventilation in dwellings is therefore not effectively used. For example in a mechanical exhaust ventilation system 50 % of outdoor air is leaving the house without being used of the people.
The use of IR detectors to steer the ventilation is in principle an attractive approach for optimising the ventilation according to the occupants needs. In order to evaluate the performances under real conditions, one of the BBRI office buildings in Limelette (some 31 offices with in total 51 persons and a variable occupation load) was equipped with a mechanical supply ventilation system in which each terminal is controlled by an IR detector.
Air flow measurements and simulations were made on a 13-story apartment building to characterize the ventilation rates for the individual apartments. Parametric runs were performed for specific conditions, e.g., height, orientation, outside temperature and wind speed. Our analysis of the air flow simulations suggest that the ventilation to the individual units varies considerably.