08-09-2015 | EU

Ventilation and air infiltration into buildings represent a substantial energy demand which can account for between 25% to over 50% of a building's total space heating (or cooling) needs. Unnecessary or excessive air change can therefore have an important impact on global energy use. On the other hand insufficient ventilation may result in poor indoor air quality, with consequential health problems, or poor thermal comfort. Designing for optimum ventilation performance is hence a vital part of building design. This task is made especially difficult, however, by the complexities of airflow behaviour, climatic influences, occupancy patterns and pollutant emission characteristics.

The Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) was established by the International Energy Agency (www.iea.org) as part of the Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme (EBC) (www.iea-ebc.org) as an IEA information centre in 1979 and emerged from a major R&D and awareness gap identified by the first EBC project. This recognised the significant impact of air infiltration and ventilation on energy use, combined with concerns over indoor air quality. The AIVC continues to disseminate information about energy efficient ventilation and exploits up-to-date communications to achieve this.

This cross-fertilisation of ideas is central to the EBC Programme as a whole and in fact the concepts for two running EBC R&D projects were developed with the help of the AIVC participants. These projects, 'Design and Operational Strategies for High Indoor Air Quality in Low Energy Buildings' and Ventilative cooling’, both have strongly ventilation-related aspects.

There are several EBC other projects with a high relevance for and/or focus on ventilation related aspects, i.e.:

  • Ventilative cooling (http://venticool.eu/annex-62-home/)
  • High Temperature Cooling & Low Temperature Heating in Buildings (www.annex59.com),
  • New Generation Computational Tools for Building & Community Energy Systems (https://www.iea-annex60.org/),
  • Business and Technical Concepts for Deep Energy Retrofit of Public Buildings (iea-annex61.org),
  • Occupant Behaviour Simulation (www.annex66.org);
  • Strategy and Practice of Adaptive Thermal Comfort in Low Energy Buildings;
  • Design and Operational Strategies for High IAQ in Low Energy Buildings; and
  • Energy Flexible Buildings