R. Jobert and G. Guyot
Bibliographic info:
Proceedings of the 34th AIVC - 3rd TightVent - 2nd Cool Roofs' - 1st venticool Conference , 25-26 September, Athens 2013

Ventilation’s historical goal has been to assure sufficient air change rates in buildings from a hygienic point of view. Regarding its potential impact on energy consumption, ventilation is being reconsidered. An important challenge for low energy buildings lies in the need to master airflows through the building envelope.

In this framework, the recent French energy performance (EP) regulation (2012) imposes envelope airtightness requirements for any new dwellings. As the dwelling airing is also governed by a 30-years-old regulation, this EP-regulation does not include any new requirement on ventilation rates.

In this context, actors in the building’s sector are reflecting on the risk, with this generation of high performance airtight dwellings, of generating an unhealthy indoor air environment.

The “VIA-Qualité” project focuses on low energy, single-family dwellings. It proposes developing quality management (QM) approaches (ISO 9001) with the goal of increasing both on-site ventilation and indoor air quality. Such QM approaches, when applied to the individual home builder sector, appear to be promising. The benefits would be to: 1- Improve ventilation system performance, especially thanks to rigorous monitoring from conception to installation; 2- Limit indoor internal pollution sources, monitoring materials selection; 3- Increase final users understanding.

In France, the individual home builders sector accounts for more than 90 % of new single-family dwellings. Such QM approaches in envelope airtightness field are already being used by individual home builders, with respect to Annexe VII of the French EP-regulation. Feedback from these experiences shows that such approaches are both succesfull and affordable for either small or large individual home builder.

The first step in this project consists in increasing our knowledge of the actual performance of ventilation systems, once they have been installed and in-use in the buildings.

To this end, we analysed data from government building compliance regulatory controls, related to several laws, including energy performance and dwellings airing. Dysfunction analysis observed in a sample of 1287 dwellings allowed us to establish a more accurate picture of the quality of on-site ventilation systems. From a overall point of view, we observed that 68% of the single-family dwellings analysed do not comply with the regulation. A deeper analysis has allowed us to understand more specifically what are the underlying technical and organizational reasons for such results.

Firstly, this paper introduces the VIA-Qualité project objectives. Then, it rapidly presents the framework of French regulation compliance controls and the content of its underexploited database. The main part of this paper then presents the results of the detailed analysis of dysfunctions compilation observed on the sample, along 6 groups and 28 indicators. Finally, first proposals for ventilation installation improvement are presented.