March 14-15, 2017 | "Is ventilation the answer to indoor air quality control in buildings? Do we need performance-based approaches?"
Indoor exposure to contaminants should be minimized to avoid adverse health and comfort effects. Experience shows that this qualitative statement is difficult to translate into measurable terms, such as performance indicators or metrics, which can be used as a basis for defining and assessing requirements in regulations and standards while holistically reflecting indoor air quality. The simplest and most commonly used approaches rely on ventilation airflow rates determined by experts or codes. These approaches have fundamental shortcomings in practice for systems that do not have steady contaminant sources or do not provide a constant airflow rate, such as natural, hybrid, or demand-controlled ventilation. More sophisticated approaches can be based on health damage, pollutant exposures, or perceived air quality but they generally entail a number of assumptions about the pollutants of concern and occupant scenarios. Such methods could lead to useful metrics. However, as of today, there is no clear set of metrics that can be used to assess the overall ventilation performance of a building with regard to its indoor air quality, or used in standards or regulations.
This workshop aimed to identify the pros and cons of performance-based approaches and metrics that can be considered to assess the IAQ performance of ventilation systems, as well as to draft guidelines for their use in standards and regulations.