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A multi-criterion method for examining the health and energy impacts of air change rates in dwellings

Payel Das, Zaid Chalabi, Benjamin Jones, Michael Davies, Ian Hamilton, James Milner, Ian Ridley, Clive Shrubsole, and Paul Wilkinson, 2012
indoor air quality | air change rate | health impacts | space heating demand | optimization
Bibliographic info: 33rd AIVC Conference " Optimising Ventilative Cooling and Airtightness for [Nearly] Zero-Energy Buildings, IAQ and Comfort", Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-11 October 2012
Languages: English

The global requirement to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions places an increased emphasis on reducing energy demand associated with dwellings. Where improved energy efficiency is in part achieved by tighter control of ventilation, there is potential for both positive and negative impacts on health from reduced air exchange in the indoor environment. Although increased air tightness may help improve indoor temperatures and reduce the ingress of pollutants from the external environment, it may increase concentrations of those from indoor sources.

Using archetypal dwellings in London as case studies, this paper explores a method for examining the trade-offs between energy and health in the evaluation of an optimal air change rate. The energy demand and health impacts associated with exposures to indoor and outdoor PM2.5 in each case-study dwelling are used as the criteria for determining the optimal ventilation rate.

The outcomes of this paper provide a novel perspective on the determination of an ‘optimal’ air change rate in dwellings.


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