The National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards) has through an interagency agreement with the Public Building Service of the General Services Administration performed an evaluation of the thermal and environmental performance of a new Federal office building in Portland OR. The building was constructed during the 1986 and 1987 and occupancy began in August of 1987. This evaluation is part of a research effort by the Center for Building Technology of NIST to develop methods for evaluating advanced technology buildings.
Air quality and draught avoidance are fairly important to office staff; consequently, the occupant's perspective should be taken into account when assessing the relative merits of different methods of ventilation in office buildings. Environmental comfort ratings and a variety of other judgements were collected in interviews with 169 staff in two air-conditioned and three naturally ventilated office buildings.
An up-to-date design concept for office buildings results in a very low energy consumption and provides a better indoor climate at the same time. This new concept is based mainly on two design features: An extremely well insulated building envelope decouples the indoor climate from the outside climate to a high degree during all seasons and weather conditions. The second element of this new design concept is the HVAC-system: The source-dominated displacement ventilation provides a better comfort and, as a cosequence of its high effectiveness, is very economical.
A test room with a Displacement Ventilation System has been built. Air velocity and temperature profiles were measured at different places in the room under summer and winter conditions. Additional numerical simulations for the same conditions as in the experiment were performed. The measured and calculated values showed good correspondence. An office room is normally not occupied permanently therefore its transient ---behaviour was also investigated.