Design and operational strategies for good Indoor Air Quality in low-energy dwellings: performance evaluation of two apartment blocks in East London, UK

To achieve stringent energy objectives, new dwellings are subject to energy conservation measures including low air permeability and high levels of insulation. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) can be used to control the balance between energy efficiency and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in these buildings. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the design and operational strategies adopted in a new development comprising two apartment blocks in East London.

Ambient air filter efficiency in airtight, highly energy efficient dwellings – A simulation study to evaluate benefits and associated energy costs

Highly energy efficient buildings such as ones built to the Passive House standard, require a very airtight building envelope and the installation of a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR). MVHR systems incorporate ambient air filters, which reduce the introduction of particulate matter (PM) from outdoor sources into the dwelling. However, indoor PM sources, e.g. cooking, can also contribute substantially to occupants’ exposure and need to be accounted for when designing ventilation or deriving recommendations for filter classes. 

Characterising the actual performance of domestic mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems

This paper describes the findings and recommendations of a meta-study examining the actual in-use performance of whole-house mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems (MVHR) installed in 54 low energy dwellings in the UK, as part of a national research programme. The performance of the systems is assessed using monitored data on indoor air quality (temperature, relative humidity, CO2) and energy use, cross-related with actual experiences of operating these systems through resident surveys.

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.

Performance of Counter Flow Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems in Dwellings Considering the Influence of Uncertainties

Both critical and optimistic claims have been made regarding the performance of heat recovery ventilation systems (HRVS) in dwellings. Such arguments are raised partly because two key aspects are not fully clarified, i.e. the performance criteria and the influence of uncertainties. In the current paper, an assessment method for HRVS considering the influence of uncertainties is described. This includes  adequate assessment criteria, the method of identifying the uncertainties, and the method of addressing the influence of such uncertainties.