Building airtightness in France — regulatory context, control procedures, results

Since 2006, there has been a significant reward in the French energy regulations for good airtightness, which has been combined with a minimum requirement for residential buildings in the 2012 version of the regulation. Airtightness test results show that the average building airtightness performance has improved by nearly 50% in single- and multi-family buildings since 2006 and now stabilises below the minimum requirements around q50 = 2.8 m3/h per m2 of envelope area, excluding lowest floor (or about n50 = 1.8 h-1).

Regulatory compliance checks of residential ventilation systems in France

Regulatory compliance checks on samples of residential ventilation systems are operational in France. The analysis of their results shows a significant rate of non-compliance with the ventilation regulation (rate on the order of 50%).

French voluntary scheme for harmonised publication of ventilation product data

Fact sheet #03 describes a voluntary scheme defining the data to be announced in the product documentation. The scheme has been launched in 2012 by Uniclima, the French association of ventilation product manufacturers. It ensures that product characteristics are provided under a harmonised form (same physical quantity, unit and assessment method), and facilitates access to relevant input data for the energy performance calculation of a building. The scheme contributes to enhancing the compliance of published data.

Building regulations can foster quality management - the French example on building airtightness

Fact sheet #01 describes how a quality management scheme has been introduced in the French energy regulation to encourage professionals to question their current practice and find effective solutions to improve building airtightness. The scheme allows successful applicants (mostly builders of single-family dwellings) to justify for a given airtightness level without systematic third-party testing. The fact sheet details the basic principles of the approach as well as the requirements applicants have to fulfil.

Analysis of indoor air quality & thermal comfort parameters in building regulations in 8 member states

It is estimated that people spend 60-90% of their life in indoor environments. Therefore, it is obvious that indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort are of highly importance for the health and wellbeing of the population. Consequently, buildings should be designed to ensure proper indoor conditions. Furthermore, the need to mitigate climate change and to reduce energy import dependency, provides additional challenges for the design and operation of buildings and requires a dramatic reduction in their energy consumption and emissions.

Ventilative Cooling of Residential Buildings - Strategies, Measurement Results and Lessons Learned from Three Active Houses in Austria, Germany and Denmark

The thermal comfort of the “Home for Life” dwelling in Denmark, the “LichtAktiv Haus” in Germany and “Sunlighthouse” in Austria is investigated with a particular focus on the control strategies and the role of solar shading and natural ventilation (ventilative cooling). These houses are three of six buildings in the Model Home 2020 project (Feifer, 2013). They have generous daylight conditions, and are designed to be energy efficient and CO2 neutral with a good indoor environment.

Natural Ventilation Potential in Portuguese Residential Buildings under Winter Conditions – An Opportunity for Hybrid Ventilation

This paper presents a study of the potential for the use of natural ventilation systems in Portuguese multi-family residential buildings under winter climatic conditions. The behaviour of various natural ventilation systems is tested in a standard residential dwelling, using the TRNSYS 15 and COMIS 3.1 software programs. This study leads to the conclusion that the use of hybrid ventilation systems can save a considerable amount of the energy normally spent on continuously operating mechanical ventilation systems.

A Study of Thermal Mavericks in Australia

The research presented in this paper was conducted in order to test whether the thermal preferences of occupants in low energy houses are influenced by their environmental values. This was done through a thermal comfort study and Environmental Attitudes Inventory (EAI) of 40 low energy households located within two very different climates, cold temperate and hot humid, in Australia.

Challenges in designing for comfort – Comfort and energy use characterization in residential apartments

This article presents the results of a thermal comfort investigation carried out in a residential gated community located in a hot-humid climate.  The study comprises of real-time field monitoring of thermal comfort in representative apartment units and assessment of the utility and cooling energy consumption in these residences.  Utility energy consumption data of the residences for one year period was obtained and a survey was administered to identify the trend of air-conditioner use.  The results are summarized and used to validate a simulation model.

Hygrothermal analysis on the use of internal thermal insulation systems in Portuguese residential buildings

In Portugal, the external thermal insulation systems (ETIS) are nowadays a current technical solution in residential buildings, contrasting with the rarely used internal thermal insulation systems (ITIS). In this paper, a quantitative analysis on ITIS is done based on three hygrothermal façade requirements: interstitial condensations, thermal bridges, and temperature variations across the external wall. Computer simulation was used as research tool.