08-08-2016 | EU

During the joint CLIMA 2016 and the 12th REHVA Conference held in Aalborg on May 22-25 2016, a specific session dealing with ventilation and air infiltration was organised by the AIVC. The title of the workshop was: “2020 Agenda for Ventilation and Air Infiltration: knowledge gaps, research priorities and the need for innovation”, looking into the future needs concerning ventilation and air infiltration, including comfort and health and considering all building types and climates. The session aimed at discussing research areas on ventilation and health to be further investigated by AIVC until 2021.

Introduction and Background

The primary objective of the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) formed by the IEA (International Energy Agency) Energy in Buildings and Community (EBC) Programme in 1979 is to provide reference information on research and development in the fields of air infiltration and ventilation, which are key aspects to achieve healthy and comfortable highly energy efficient buildings. This Annex has produced a number of landmark reports and guides in addition to organising events such as the annual AIVC conference, and many more specialized workshops and webinars. The full list of projects undertaken with the AIVC is available on the AIVC website, http://www.aivc.org/resources/collection-publications/aivc-projects.

Summary of the Presentations                      

Benjamin Jones started the workshop providing an overview on the research properties by countries through survey of AIVC board members, using of national networks and industry connections. The key themes included:

  • Indoor Air Quality (e.g. particulates and radon) and ventilation systems design to maintain adequate levels (IEA-EBC Annex 68)
  • Moisture and mold
  • Smart and innovative ventilation systems
  • In-situ assessment of ventilation system performance
  • Effect of occupant behavior on ventilation system performance (IEA-EBC Annex 66)
  • Distribution of air permeability and infiltration rates in housing stocks

Max Sherman introduced the definition, applications and key requirements of smart ventilation. An innovative example of smart ventilation response to occupancy was presented. Finally, the future direction of smart ventilation was discussed.

Wouter Borsboom illustrated research priorities and needs to realize energy efficient and healthy buildings.

Technical Note AIVC 68 provides us with a stepwise approach to residential ventilation and health. It gives an overview of measured pollutants, prioritize indoor pollutants, identify potential health outcomes, and propose control strategies to reduce health effects due to bad indoor air quality. It can be downloaded at www.aivc.org.

Pawel Wargocki and Peter Wouters concluded the presentations session with an overview of the possible future research agenda for ventilation and air infiltration, based on the previous AIVC work and identified, knowledge gaps. This presentation discussed the need for advancing the knowledge on ventilation in existing and future buildings and discussed research priorities and the areas where the innovation is necessary.

Discussion and main results  

Discussion during this workshop was based on the analysis of answers to prepared questions asked to the audience. Participants’ feedbacks A were collected instantaneously with a voting system. The questions debated included among others:

  • How important is it to consider the impact that outdoor air will have on Indoor Air Quality?

Although most attendees thought it was very important to consider the impact of outdoor air (64%), some (36%) argued that, it would be difficult to weigh and distinguish the impact of outdoor air quality on IAQ from other sources

  • How important is it to define ventilation requirements on actual exposures rather than by a fixed airflow?

Most attendees considered this as very (55%) or moderately (35%) important. Several attendees noted that it would be difficult to consider the actual exposure in the design phase.

  • How useful would it be to have a quantitative metric to rate Indoor Air Quality?

Most attendees thought it would be very (48%) or moderately (33%) useful to have a quantitative metric to rate IAQ; however, some attendees (15%) were doubtful about whether it would be possible to define such a metric, whether it could reflect the indoor air quality, and how it could be used by designers.

  • Which is the most important item in terms of research needs?

The majority of attendees considered the identification of pollutants of concern as the highest priority and the development of monitoring methods as second priority. Participants of the workshop also stressed that it would be useful to develop advanced ventilation systems and compare the performance of different ventilation systems against each other. They agreed it would be important to quantify health and comfort outcomes in terms of public health and economic criteria.

Conclusion and future work directions in the field                                                                  

This workshop discussed some priority research areas on ventilation and health that could be further investigated by AIVC between 2017 and 2021.It highlighted in particular needs in terms of identification of pollutant of concerns and development monitoring methods. Several AIVC board members will further develop these ideas, also based on additional discussions to be led at the IAQ 2016 conference in Alexandria, VA, USA, co-organised by ASHRAE and AIVC. The objective is to finalise a research agenda by mid-2017.