Article

Ventilation in European dwellings: A review

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Abstract

Adequate ventilation is essential for the health and comfort of building occupants. This review examines, first of all, why residential ventilation is an issue of concern in Europe and how is related to the human health. A review of the current status of residential ventilation standards and regulations in Europe is also provided, as a reference. Finally, a review of measurements of ventilation rates in European dwellings is provided, where the compatibility with the European standards/regulations is examined. The review shows that ventilation is increasingly becoming recognised as an important component of a healthy dwelling. Ventilation requirements receive major attention in building regulations, across Europe. However, ventilation measurements across Europe show that ventilation is in practice often poor, resulting in reduced ventilation rates (lower than 0.5 h−1, which is currently a standard in many European countries), increased concentrations of indoor pollutants and hence exposure to health risk. Surveys showed that although occupants generally think that ventilation is important, their understanding of the ventilation systems in their own houses is low, resulting to under-ventilated homes.

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... • In the Greek regulation, the air flow rate per capita is 4.72 ℓ/s [12]. • In Italian regulation, the air flow rate per person for the hall is 4.16 ℓ/s [12]. ...
... • In the Greek regulation, the air flow rate per capita is 4.72 ℓ/s [12]. • In Italian regulation, the air flow rate per person for the hall is 4.16 ℓ/s [12]. • In the Portuguese regulation, it is stated that ventilation is required once every hour [12]. ...
... • In Italian regulation, the air flow rate per person for the hall is 4.16 ℓ/s [12]. • In the Portuguese regulation, it is stated that ventilation is required once every hour [12]. • In the Spanish national standard (DB HS3), the air flow rate per person is given 5 ℓ/s for the bedroom and 3 ℓ/s for the living room [ ...
Article
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Recently, across the world, indoor air quality has become one of the most spoken issue in consequence of COVID 19. People spend time at houses, offices, schools and the other indoor environments for social activities and personal necessities. Indoor ventilation by opening windows and doors does not always meet the requirements as air pollution increases outside. However, building related illnesses are inevitable for people who are frequently exposed to indoor pollutant such as biological (viruses, bacteria etc.). Therefore, the determined precautions should be taken without any delay and excuse. Energy consumption because of the mechanical ventilation could be problem for the most buildings. In this direction, by the end of 2020, all new buildings in Europe must be proper to achieve the target of the nearly net zero energy building (Directive 2010/31/EU). As a solution, an off-grid solar assisted system was designed to supply the electrical load of heat recovery ventilation system with the intention of an example of nZEB concept. In detail, this paper presents some sample residential heat recovery ventilation designs for different types of dwellings in Mediterranean countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey. The solar PV system was simulated by PVsyst which is known as one of the most widely used software.
... Category I: >30%, Category II: >25%, Category III: >20%, Category IV: >0%. T. Psomas et al. lower than the minimum benchmark of the guidelines, i.e. 0.5 h − 1 [51]. Analytical correlations between ventilation and building characteristics or occupancy behaviors for the BETSI project may be found in Langer et al. (2013;[5]). ...
... The ventilation air change rates are higher for apartments (each category and in total). More than 70% of the examined cases, have an average ventilation air change rate for the assessment period that is lower than 0.5 h − 1 [51]. Dimitroulopoulou reviewed a number of scientific articles reporting ventilation rates across Europe and concluded that the ventilation rates are generally higher in southern climatic condition compared to Scandinavian countries and in summer compared to winter [51]. ...
... More than 70% of the examined cases, have an average ventilation air change rate for the assessment period that is lower than 0.5 h − 1 [51]. Dimitroulopoulou reviewed a number of scientific articles reporting ventilation rates across Europe and concluded that the ventilation rates are generally higher in southern climatic condition compared to Scandinavian countries and in summer compared to winter [51]. This finding is similar with earlier ventilation studies in Scandinavia and northern countries [53]. ...
Article
Data from a nationwide survey on the status of the Swedish residential building stock and indoor air quality was placed in the public domain by the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning of Sweden. The current research investigates the indoor humidity conditions in Swedish residential buildings, single-family houses and apartments, assessing the measurements from the extensive BETSI-survey against adjusted relative humidity levels based on existing norms and Standards. The aim of this study is to investigate associations and correlations between relative humidity levels and multiple building and system characteristics, occupancy patterns and behaviors and health symptoms-complaints. The analysis uses 13 categorical and 9 continuous variables-parameters of the examined dwellings. Analysis shows that low indoor relative humidity is a realistic issue in Swedish dwellings during the heating season. The issue is more prevalent in apartments than single-family houses. In addition, low indoor relative humidity seems to be more extensive in dwellings with higher indoor temperature, smaller volume, higher ventilation rate and frequent airing practices, lower number of occupants, constructed mainly after 1985, in city suburbs and in the northern parts of the country. The developed multinomial logistic regression model may predict very accurately the relative humidity level of the Swedish dwellings, during heating season. This analysis offers additional evidence to the scientific literature for possible correlation of low relative humidity with specific health symptoms, complaints and disturbances.
... Major IAQ parameters include CO, CO2, NH3, O3, NO2, aldehydes, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and atmospheric aerosol particles such as PM (particulate matter) [2,3], in addition to biological pollutants such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses [4,5]. The analysis determined that the standard ventilation rate for residential buildings in many European countries is about 0.35-1 ACH [6]. From a health perspective, in another study, the monitoring of CO2, T, and RH (relative humidity) is suggested for improving the indoor environment [7]. ...
... The results of the analysis determined the impact of adequate ventilation on human health. In practice and based on the measurements of several case studies, the ventilation of the houses is often poor and less than 0.5 ACH [6]. ...
... The negative health impact of low ventilation and ACH on occupants is obvious by reviewing the previous studies. The analysis determined that the ACH in many European countries is currently about 0.35-1 ACH [6] and in China, about 0.35-0.78 ACH [10]. ...
Article
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The purpose of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are to create optimum thermal comfort and appropriate indoor air quality (IAQ) for occupants. Air ventilation systems can significantly affect the health risk in indoor environments, especially those by contaminated aerosols. Therefore, the main goal of the study is to analyze the indoor airflow patterns in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and the impact of outlets/windows. The other goal of this study is to simulate the trajectory of the aerosols from a human sneeze, investigate the impact of opening windows on the number of air changes per hour (ACH) and exhibit the role of dead zones with poor ventilation. The final goal is to show the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation in improving the HVAC design, such as outlet locations or airflow rate, in addition to the placement of occupants. In this regard, an extensive literature review has been combined with the CFD method to analyze the indoor airflow patterns, ACH, and the role of windows. The airflow pattern analysis shows the critical impact of inflow/outflow and windows. The results show that the CFD model simulation could exhibit optimal placement and safer locations for the occupants to decrease the health risk. The results of the discrete phase simulation determined that the actual ACH could be different from the theoretical ACH as the short circuit and dead zones affect the ACH.
... volatile and semivolatile organic compounds, cleaning chemical agents, traffic related pollutants, environmental tobacco smoke) and biological (e.g. molds, virus, spores, cells, fragments, and bacteria) agents [146,147]. Low ventilation rates affect also the human productivity and comfort perceptions [146,147]. Similarly, they favor the concentration of chemical and biological pollution and dust [146,147] that may damage heritage artifacts, collections, archives, and building surfaces [148,149]. ...
... molds, virus, spores, cells, fragments, and bacteria) agents [146,147]. Low ventilation rates affect also the human productivity and comfort perceptions [146,147]. Similarly, they favor the concentration of chemical and biological pollution and dust [146,147] that may damage heritage artifacts, collections, archives, and building surfaces [148,149]. A balance between ventilation requirements for human comfort, IAQ, pollution concentration, heritage conservation, and energy savings is needed especially in historic buildings [147]. ...
... Low ventilation rates affect also the human productivity and comfort perceptions [146,147]. Similarly, they favor the concentration of chemical and biological pollution and dust [146,147] that may damage heritage artifacts, collections, archives, and building surfaces [148,149]. A balance between ventilation requirements for human comfort, IAQ, pollution concentration, heritage conservation, and energy savings is needed especially in historic buildings [147]. ...
Article
It is estimated that EU cultural heritage (CH) buildings represent 30% of the total existing stock. Nevertheless, all actions in terms of refurbishment need a deep knowledge based on the diagnosis of the built quality. For this reason, the paper aims to provide a comprehensive review about the applicability of non-destructive techniques (NDT) and advanced modelling technologies for the diagnosis of heritage buildings. Considering a time span of two decades (2001-2021), a bibliometric analysis was performed, using data statistics and science mapping. Subsequently, the most relevant studies on this topic were evaluated for each technique. The main findings revealed that: (i) most of studies were conducted on Southern European countries; (ii) 36% of publications were journal papers and only 2% corresponded to reviews; (iii) “photogrammetry” and “laser applications” were identified as consolidated techniques for historic preservation, but they are only linked with HBIM and deep learning; (iv) a significant gap on quantitative NDT was detected and consequently, future researches should be performed to propose a common diagnosis protocol; (v) artificial neural networks have several barriers (i.e. data privacy, network security and quality of datasets). Hence, a holistic approach should be adopted by the European countries.
... The IoT technology and fuzzy logic control make the system more efficient than the normal system because it can adjust the fan speed based on air pollution [96]. IAQ controlling combined with an indoor air monitoring system can produce a more efficient system [5], [104]. Figure 4.8 shows the implementation of IAQ monitoring and controlling hardware using IoT technology combined with two sensors (CO 2 and PM 10 ) and a fan. ...
... • This IAQ system is incredibly valuable in observing air quality status inside a building to more readily comprehend the present condition of air quality to consider the conduct of environmental conditions [105]. • A ventilation system can optimize air conditions such as IAQ and thermal comfort for individuals living or operating there, considering their health, prosperity and comfort [104]. ...
Book
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Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is attracting a lot of attention from the clinical scientific community. The medical devices in IoMT collect vital health- related data over the internet. Patients are given detailed supporting evidence to help them during recovery. Because of various medical equipment, attackers can change the address of devices. Certain patients suffering from illnesses like brain tumours are at risk of dying due to this. Brain tumours are caused by a mass of abnormal cells in the brain, and they can damage the brain and endanger one’s life. Brain tumour diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment are all essential. The biopsy and analysis of CT scans or MRIs that are repetitive, inefficient for vast amounts of data, and enable radiologists to make assumptions are common techniques for identification. To address these issues, many software techniques have been proposed. However, there is still a great need to develop a technology that can identify a brain tumour with high specificity in a short period. Furthermore, it is critical to select criteria that will allow predictions to attain exceptional accuracy. The brain is the most affected by tumours that grow irregularly. Early identification of such cancers greatly aids in the provision of successful therapy. The first step in diagnosing a brain tumour is to process medical images. It necessitates various imaging modalities such as computerised CT- Scan, X- ray, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The primary goal of brain tumour image processing is to determine the precise size and location of the tumour in the brain. The precise size and location of the tumour aid in the identification of abnormal growth in the brain. Detection of brain tumours using MRI is a difficult endeavour even for highly trained professionals. The MRI image processing software understands how to process and segment out brain tumours. We split MRI image processing into four stages: pre- processing, picture segmentation, feature extraction, and image classification. We used various image segmentation algorithms to separate the brain tumours like seed region growing, threshold segmentation, watershed, fuzzy c- mean, histogram threshold etc. We evaluated the accuracy of various approaches and discovered that the seed region growing method outperformed with 92.5% accuracy.
... Fisk (2018) systematically reviewed this literature and concluded that the evidence suggests that increased ventilation rate is associated with better health outcomes, however he was not able to identify a consistent threshold ventilation rate at which better health outcomes were observed. issues of IAQ and energy efficiency (Sundell et al., 2011;Dimitroulopoulou, 2012). ...
... The measured ventilation rates were compared to the ADF value in all cases. The ADF ventilation rates are given as volumetric flow rates (in l/s) but generally when converted to air changes per hour these are close to 0.5 ach, a commonly used threshold for adequate ventilation found in many European ventilation standards (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012). Section 2.3 presented the ventilation strategy in ADF in more detail. ...
Thesis
In the UK, steps have been taken to reduce air permeability of buildings and reduce their energy consumption due to unplanned ventilation. However, adequate ventilation is required for good indoor air quality. The building regulations require means for adequate ventilation in new buildings for good indoor air quality, and in England Approved Document F (ADF) sets out how this may be achieved. Nonetheless, few detailed studies of ventilation in occupied homes have been carried out. This project addresses aspects of ventilation measurement, performance of ventilation systems and the sociotechnical nature of ventilation in occupied homes. Ventilation in occupied buildings is driven by building characteristics, ventilation equipment, weather conditions and occupant actions and therefore can be highly variable. Despite this, much ventilation research in occupied homes either measures a long-term average ventilation rate or collects a small number of `snap-shot’ measurements of ventilation rate. This research developed a method for measuring ventilation rates in occupied homes based on the tracer gas decay technique using metabolic CO₂. The method was applied in four occupied dwellings over 6 months to give more than 500 ventilation rate measurements. These results facilitated assessment of the performance of the ventilation system and exploration of the variation in ventilation rates. This revealed significant differences in the ventilation rates experienced by occupants in the different dwellings and highlighted shortcomings in the planned ventilation system. Ventilation in occupied homes is strongly influenced by occupants. The final part of the research used a social practice theory framework to compare the participants’ practices with the intended uses of ventilation equipment implicit in ADF. This revealed that although the participants shared many of ADF’s goals in terms of the air in their homes, their practices were more nuanced than ADF and that their use of the ventilation equipment did not reflect ADF’s intentions.
... Only four houses (1,19,23,27) reached the recommended level of air change rate, and only in summer measurements. In 2012, Dimitroulopoulou gathered a review of measurements of ACH (air changes per hour) in dwellings from various European studies [32]. A general tendency is seen, that despite a requirement of 0.5 h −1 , a significant number of dwellings exhibit lower air change rates in Denmark. ...
... A general tendency is seen, that despite a requirement of 0.5 h −1 , a significant number of dwellings exhibit lower air change rates in Denmark. Similar results have been found in other northern countries despite similar regulations, e.g., Finland, Norway, Sweden and U.K. [32]. The air change rates measured in the cold attics vary significantly between the cases, and measurement periods, as seen in Figure 12. ...
Article
Full-text available
Naturally ventilated cold attics are traditional in many Danish single-family homes. The moisture balance of these attics is dependent on sufficient ventilation for removal of excess moisture. Moisture is generated in the dwelling below, and transported to attic spaces through convection and diffusion. Therefore, airtight ceilings are vital for reduction of excess moisture, which may yield mould growth in the attic. If mould spores migrate to the dwelling it can cause risk of health concerns for occupants. The presents study includes analysis of tracer gas and temperature/relative humidity measurements, in 30 dwellings/attics. The measurements yielded results of both air change rates in attics and dwellings, as well as air exchange between the two zones. Four of 30 houses, met the recommended air change rate of 0.5 h−1, and only in summer. The air change rate in the attics was found to be higher, and with larger variation compared to the dwelling. Visible mould growth was found in three attics, which all exhibited low air change rates. Air exchange between zones occurred in houses both with and without vapour barriers. The downward air exchange in summer, was however slightly larger in cases without vapour barriers. These results highlight the importance of airtight ceilings for both dwelling and attic performance.
... Energy recommendations are presented in the Energy performance of buildings directive with levels of Energy Performance Certification [2]. Most building codes of Central and Northern Europe countries require a minimum air change rate for the whole building and define airflow rates concerning the floor area and room type [3]. Other countries, such as France and Switzerland, only define the overall dwelling airflow rate concerning the floor area. ...
... This creates a demand to control the airflow rate in the apartments, so nowadays, the majority of demand-based (DB) ventilation systems have two airflow rates (high and low). The most common control strategies are based on relative humidity, occupancy, CO 2 level or total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) level control [3,20]. Humidity-based control systems are usually introduced in bathrooms [21]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In general, new Finnish apartment buildings are equipped with mechanical balanced demand-based ventilation. The airflow rate in the kitchen hood is boosted on demand to improve pollutant extraction during cooking. However, in practice, it has been found that the system does not work as desired. The focus of the paper was to present the simulation results from a case building equipped with a ventilation system that is commonly used in Finland. In the analysis, the airflow rates are calculated for the room, apartment, and air handling unit (AHU) levels for various ventilation mode scenarios. A significant imbalance of over 10% between the supply and exhaust airflows at the room and apartment levels was observed in the boosting mode. This imbalance creates a pressure difference over the building envelope, particularly in small studio apartments. The calculated pressure difference for future buildings with high airtightness were at the warning level of 40 Pa below atmospheric level. The kitchen hood exhaust system showed a 28% lower airflow rate in certain scenarios. A new solution to guarantee the designed airflow rates was proposed and assessed. The new solution consists of replacing the apartment level flow control damper and a new balancing method for the kitchen hood exhaust branch. The proposed design was able to stay within 10% of the designed airflow rates in all operation modes.
... The results of a review of national requirements and practitioner guidelines in seven European countries are presented in the second chapter of this report. They are in line with earlier reviews by Dimitroulopoulou (2012) and Chenari et al. (2016). Dimitroulopoulou (2012) points out that ventilation is perceived as an important component of a healthy dwelling and that ventilation requirements receive significant attention in European building regulations. ...
... They are in line with earlier reviews by Dimitroulopoulou (2012) and Chenari et al. (2016). Dimitroulopoulou (2012) points out that ventilation is perceived as an important component of a healthy dwelling and that ventilation requirements receive significant attention in European building regulations. Additionally, the results of the present review show that mechanical ventilation systems seem to be already dominant in newly built low-energy residential buildings. ...
Technical Report
The objective of Subtask 4 in the IEA EBC Annec 68 was to integrate knowledge and results from remaining Subtasks and present them in the context with current knowledge. The focus of the Subtask 4 was on practitioners dealing with ensuring high Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in modern low-energy residences, the demands and challenges they meet during daily work. This especially includes architects and ventilation designers, facility managers, property developers and employees of public authorities. This publication is a result if Subtask 4’s work. It brings a collection of 24 “case studies” related to IAQ design and control in Low-Energy Residential Buildings. By a “case study” we mean a real life construction project, laboratory investigation or a simulation study that provides innovative approach. The case studies were selected to give the practitioners new insigts, inspiration and motivation to go along new paths leading to sustainable and comfortable homes of the future. The report is organized into three main chapters: “Ways to design residential ventilation in the future” and “Towards better performance and user satisfaction”. The descriptions of case studies are accompanied by “lessons learned” sections aiming directly at practical utilization of results as well as recommended future reading section providing the most important references.
... On this matter, there is mounting evidence of the importance of increasing outdoor air supply for the achievement of healthy indoor environment. The increase in ventilation rate (i.e. the supply of outdoor air [7]) amplifies the dilution of indoor pollutants, removes excess of CO 2 , and reduces indoor odor and airborne transmission of pathogens, enhancing thereby the IAQ for occupants [8][9][10]. Dal & Zhao [11] showed that the probability of cross-infection in confined spaces decreased as ventilation increased. ...
... Ventilation is recognized as an important factor influencing the transmission of such infectious aerosols [10,[27][28][29]. The purpose of ventilation is the dilution of the entire indoor space (i.e. the macroenvironment): the higher the ventilation rate, the more prominent the dilution effect of indoor pollutants, and the healthier indoor air is for occupants [8]. A study by Dai & Zhao [11] reported that the probability of cross-infection in confined spaces decreased as ventilation increased. ...
Article
Airborne disease transmission in indoor spaces and resulting cross-contamination has been a topic of broad concern for years – especially recently with the outbreak of COVID-19. Global recommendations on this matter consist of increasing the outdoor air supply in the aim of diluting the indoor air. Nonetheless, a paradoxical relationship has risen between increasing amount of outdoor air and its impact on increased energy consumption – especially densely occupied spaces. The paradox is more critical in hot and humid climates, where large amounts of energy are required for the conditioning of the outdoor air. Therefore, many literature studies investigated new strategies for the mitigation of cross-contamination with little-to-no additional cost of energy. These strategies mainly consist of the dilution and/or the capture and removal of contaminants at the levels of macroenvironment room air and occupant-adjacent microenvironment. On the macroenvironment level, the dilution occurs by the supply of large amounts of outdoor air in a sustainable way using passive cooling systems, and the removal of contaminants happens via filtering. Similarly, the microenvironment of the occupant can be diluted using localized ventilation techniques, and contaminants can be captured and removed by direct exhaust near the source of contamination. Thus, this work answers ten questions that explore the most prevailing technologies from the above-mentioned fronts that are used to mitigate cross-contamination in densely occupied spaces located in hot and humid climates at minimal energy consumption. The paper establishes a basis for future work and insights for new research directives for macro and microenvironment approaches.
... The results of a review of national requirements and practitioner guidelines in seven European countries are presented in the second chapter of this report. They are in line with earlier reviews by Dimitroulopoulou (2012) and Chenari et al. (2016). Dimitroulopoulou (2012) points out that ventilation is perceived as an important component of a healthy dwelling and that ventilation requirements receive significant attention in European building regulations. ...
... They are in line with earlier reviews by Dimitroulopoulou (2012) and Chenari et al. (2016). Dimitroulopoulou (2012) points out that ventilation is perceived as an important component of a healthy dwelling and that ventilation requirements receive significant attention in European building regulations. Additionally, the results of the present review show that mechanical ventilation systems seem to be already dominant in newly built low-energy residential buildings. ...
Article
The objective of Subtask 4 in the IEA EBC Annec 68 was to integrate knowledge and results from remaining Subtasks and present them in the context with current knowledge. The focus of the Subtask 4 was on practitioners dealing with ensuring high Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in modern low-energy residences, the demands and challenges they meet during daily work. This especially includes architects and ventilation designers, facility managers, property developers and employees of public authorities. This publication is a result if Subtask 4’s work. It brings a collection of 24 “case studies” related to IAQ design and control in Low-Energy Residential Buildings. By a “case study” we mean a real life construction project, laboratory investigation or a simulation study that provides innovative approach. The case studies were selected to give the practitioners new insigts, inspiration and motivation to go along new paths leading to sustainable and comfortable homes of the future. The report is organized into three main chapters: “Ways to design residential ventilation in the future” and “Towards better performance and user satisfaction”. The descriptions of case studies are accompanied by “lessons learned” sections aiming directly at practical utilization of results as well as recommended future reading section providing the most important references.
... Often, indoor air is five times more polluted than outdoor air (Kim, Paulos & Mankoff, 2013). Polluted air has negative effects on productivity, health, and comfort of residents When behaviour change is about hot air: home systems should change behaviour to fit practices Elise WABEKE a , Stella BOESS b* , Froukje SLEESWIJK-VISSER b , Sacha SILVESTER b a TomTom Nederland b Faculty Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands and can cause allergies, inflammation, infections, and asthma (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012). Numerous materials and activities can pollute the air with gasses and particles such as fine dust, CO, CO2, odours and water vapor (Behar & Chiu, 2013). ...
... Fresh air is supplied in 'dry rooms': the living room and bedroom. Some mechanical systems recover heat from used air to preheat fresh air before supply (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012). Furthermore, systems can be equipped with sensors like CO2 and humidity to regulate airflow. ...
... While the airtightness of retrofitted energy-efficient buildings might limit the infiltration of outdoor pollutants, the resulting reduced ventilation can have unwanted repercussions on indoor air quality (IAQ) [33] and adverse effects on respiratory health [34][35][36]. When the household air changes per hour (ACH) fall below the European standard of 0.5 ACH [37], this results in the accumulation of most indoor pollutants-including bacteria that are closely related to human pathogens [38]-and an increase in the relative humidity of the ambient air, which favors the development of molds [36,39]. Indoor air temperature also matters, as it regulates the relative humidity content and can promote the release of pollutants from building materials. ...
Article
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Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is a major target in developed countries toward decreasing their energy consumption and CO2 emissions. To meet this target, a large number of countries have established energy codes that require buildings to be airtight. While such a retro-fitting approach has improved health outcomes in areas with heavy traffic, it has worsened the health outcomes in Nordic countries and increased the risk of lung cancer in areas with high levels of radon emissions. This review highlights the importance of adapting the characteristics of energy-efficient residential buildings to the location, age, and health of inhabitants to guarantee healthy indoor pollutant levels. The implementation of mechanical ventilation in new energy-efficient buildings has solved some of these problems; however, for others, a decrease in the level of outdoor pollutants was still required in order to achieve a good indoor air quality. A good balance between the air exchange rate and the air humidity level (adapted to the location) is key to ensuring that exposure to the various pollutants that accumulate inside energy-efficient buildings is low enough to avoid affecting inhabitants′ health. Evidence of the protective effect of mechanical ventilation should be sought in dwellings where natural ventilation allows pollutants to accumulate to threatening levels. More studies should be carried out in African and Asian countries, which, due to their rapid urbanization, use massive volumes of unproven/unrated building materials for fast-track construction , which are frequent sources of formaldehyde and VOC emissions.
... However, a healthy indoor environment can be achieved by applying strategies necessary to improve the COVID-19 pollutant IAQ, which, in addition to increasing the supply of fresh air, include controlling pollution from emission sources, cleaning the air and improving the efficiency of ventilation [13][14][15]. Therefore, the indoor air quality (IAQ), especially in indoor residential spaces, has a strong influence on human health; thus, it is essential to design adequate ventilation, which ensures good IAQ since the main purpose of ventilation is to dilute or remove indoor contaminants by providing outdoor air [16][17][18][19][20][21]. ...
Article
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Residents of nursing homes have been significantly affected by COVID-19 in Spain. The factors that have contributed to the vulnerability of this population are very diverse. In this study,physical agents, chemical pollutants, population density and different capacities of residences were analysed to understand their influence on the number of elderly people who have died in geriatric centres in different autonomous communities (AACCs) of Spain. A statistical analysis was carried out on the variables observed. The results show that many residences with a larger number of deaths were private, with some exceptions. Physical agents and pollutants were found to be determining factors, especially for the communities of Extremadura and Castilla–La Mancha, although the large number of factors involved makes this study complicated. The compromise between air quality and energy efficiency is of great importance, especially when human health is at stake.
... In cold, wet or windy weather people are reluctant to open windows as they create cold draughts and hence they often have lower ventilation rates in winter. 107 This can be a particular challenge in modern airtight buildings which have very low infiltration rates for energy efficiency, 108 and for people on low incomes who are trying to keep heating costs down. Low humidity winter conditions also allow for greater evaporation of respiratory droplets, 109 resulting in the potential for smaller aerosols to remain suspended for longer. ...
Conference Paper
July and August must be a period of intense preparation for our reasonable worst-case scenario for health in the winter that we set out in this report, including a resurgence of COVID-19, which might be greater than that seen in the spring. The assumptions that we have made should be tested as new evidence emerges (including analysis of the evidence from the first wave) to enable prevention and mitigation strategies to be adapted and refined. Mitigation strategies should not pose further disadvantage to the most vulnerable in society or the highest risk patients or communities. To maximise their effectiveness (and to ensure they do not exacerbate inequalities), preparations for winter must be informed by engagement with patients, carers, public and healthcare professionals (as we have benefitted from in this report); and, whenever possible, be developed through co-production. Implementation of prevention and mitigation strategies requires enhanced coordination, collaboration and data sharing between central and local initiatives
... Indoor air quality influences and affects, like the other environmental factors explained above, the well-being of the older adult population. Dimitroulopoulou [34] states that ventilation is recognized as an important component for a healthy home, since it is possible to associate poor/inadequate ventilation with indoor air pollution and, consequently, health problems. The indoor air quality and its impacts, particularly in situations where the occupants are most vulnerable (elderly population), can be quantified and solutions can be prescribed, both for the occupants and for the building itself (e.g., improved ventilation of spaces) [35]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The SAVING project aimed to create a sustainable and active aging program to promote the transition to sustainable aging in residential structures for the elderly (RSEs), developing research activities to apply the best strategies and good practices regarding the promotion of an active, healthy, and sustainable aging regarding social, economic, environmental, and pedagogic aspects. All this innovative methodology was built on a living-lab approach applied in one RSE, that was used as a case study. The results showed that the creation of the SAVING Brigade allowed not only increased reflection and mutual learning, but also created better conditions to face uncertainties and obstacles. Moreover, the use of indicators supported the basic themes and enabled comparison with other studies, between institutions or programs. Finally, the Action Plan acted as a tool for the development of previously defined strategies. It is possible to conclude that the breadth of the concept of quality of life encompasses the physical health of the individual, their psychological state, their social relationships, their perceptions, and the relationship with the characteristics of the context in which they are inserted. Therefore, active, sustainable, and healthy aging should be the goal.
... In the energy performance field, successive regulations encouraged a performance-based approach, based on an energy consumption requirement for heating and/or cooling at the design stage [8]. In the building ventilation field, regulations throughout the world are mainly still based on prescriptive approaches, with airflow or air change rate requirements [9]. In contrast to such prescriptive approaches, it is possible to develop performance-based approaches for residential building ventilation. ...
Article
Given that performance-based approaches secure maximum energy consumption for new buildings in more and more building codes and standards, such approaches could ensure that ventilation is designed to avoid risks for occupants’ health. We have developed a performance-based approach for assessing ventilation indoor air quality (IAQ) performance in low-energy houses at the design stage of a building, in line with regulatory energy performance calculations. In this context, the whole-building IAQ performance modelling process raises two key issues: What are the relevant performance indicators to be calculated? What are the corresponding emission scenarios and occupancy schedules to be used as entry data to calculate the performance indicators selected? This paper focuses on this second issue through a literature review: firstly oriented toward the occupancy considerations so as to define the emission rates for CO2, moisture, formaldehyde and PM2.5 to be use as input for ventilation performance assessment. Based on this review, we propose daily schedules for the occupants and their associated moisture and CO2 emissions. We completed them with emission rate values for the main pollutant sources from indoor activities regarding moisture emissions from laundry, showering and cooking; PM2.5 emissions from cooking and formaldehyde from building materials and furniture. Finally, from these values we built three emission rates classified for PM2.5 and formaldehyde: high, medium and low.
... Air-conditioning systems were commonly used for the indoor environment control and thermal comfort management in the residential buildings. Ventilation is increasingly becoming recognized as an important component of a healthy residential building and is the ultimate strategy to control indoor air quality (IAQ) (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012). For the requirements of ventilating flow rates, energy consumption and IAQ would have conflict, and thermal comfort would also be affected by the ventilating flow rates (Kim and Hwang 2009;Lozinsky and Touchie 2020). ...
Article
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The traditional mixing ventilation is not an energy effective approach to remove indoor air pollutants, maintain breath zone air quality, and control the airborne transmission. This study investigated the potential of a localized laminar airflow ventilation system to alleviate human exposure to pollutants. Breathing thermal manikins with sitting posture and supine posture were used to simulate the human. N2O was used as the tracer gas to simulate the indoor pollutant emission. The contaminant exposure index (εexp) and intake fraction index (IF) were used to assess the risk of human pollutant exposure for various supply air velocities given different emission source positions. Enhanced pollutant removal efficiency (Eff) (from the result) showed the qualification and desirability of the localized laminar airflow ventilation system in improving the breath zone air quality. The results showed that the CFD results could fit well with the experimental data and found out the interaction between thermal plume and supply air. The results also indicated a low εexp and IF, with over 90%, all of which were highly correlated with the supply velocity. Human’s different breathing methods have little influence on the pollutant exposure so as to the location of the pollution source. This study found that localized laminar airflow ventilation system could efficiently provide fresh air to the breathing zone without sacrificing the thermal environment around human. It can be used for small region air quality control such as that in the bedroom and living room where desired air quality is favored.
... Moreover, there are many indoor air quality (IAQ) standards and guidelines such as the WHO, the European air quality guidelines [23,24], and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards [25,26]. The IAQ standards and guidelines are mostly about air quality and pollutant emission, determining the threshold values for some parameters [27][28][29]. However, the transport of odors and fumes, viruses, and bacteria and the transmission of respiratory infections such as H1N1, Ebola, and COVID-19 have been detected on flights and other vehicles, which could result in health hazards for passengers, cabin crews, or drivers [7,[30][31][32][33]. ...
Article
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The simulation of the ventilation and the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of vehicles could be used in the energy demand management of vehicles besides improving the air quality inside their cabins. Moreover, traveling by public transport during a pandemic is a concerning factor, and analysis of the vehicle's cabin environments could demonstrate how to decrease the risk and create a safer journey for passengers. Therefore, this article presents airflow analysis, air changes per hour (ACH), and respiration aerosols' trajectory inside three vehicles, including a typical car, bus, and airplane. In this regard, three vehicles' cabin environment boundary conditions and the HVAC systems of the selected vehicles were determined, and three-dimensional numerical simulations were performed using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling. The analysis of the airflow patterns and aerosol trajectories in the selected vehicles demonstrate the critical impact of inflow, outflow, and passenger's locations in the cabins. The CFD model results exhibited that the lowest risk could be in the airplane and the highest in the bus because of the location of airflows and outflows. The discrete CFD model analysis determined the ACH for a typical car of about 4.3, a typical bus of about 7.5, and in a typical airplane of about 8.5, which were all less than the standard protocol of infection prevention, 12 ACH. According to the results, opening windows in the cars could decrease the aerosol loads and improve the low ACH by the HVAC systems. However, for the buses, a new design for the outflow location or an increase in the number of outflows appeared necessary. In the case of airplanes, the airflow paths were suitable, and by increasing the airflow speed, the required ACH might be achieved. Finally, in the closed (recirculating) systems, the role of filters in decreasing the risk appeared critical.
... However, a healthy indoor environment can be achieved by applying the necessary strategies to improve the IAQ which are, in addition to increasing the supply of fresh air, controlling pollution from emission sources, cleaning the air and improving the efficiency of ventilation (Yocom & McCarthy, 1991;Spengler et al., 2000, Hormigos-Jiménez et al., 2018a. Therefore, indoor air quality (IAQ), especially in indoor residential spaces, has a strong influence on human health; therefore, it is essential to design adequate ventilation, which ensures good IAQ, since the main purpose of ventilation is to dilute or remove indoor contaminants by providing outdoor air (Turiel, 1986;Berenguer et al., 1994;Wadden & Schelf, 1983;Dimitroulopoulou, 2012;Van Buggenhout et al., 2006;Xu et al., 2020). ...
Chapter
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Nursing homes have been one of the most prominent targets of the Covi-19 coronavirus in Spain. The factors that have determined that this is the case are very diverse. In this study, physical agents and chemical pollutants, population density and different capacities of the residences are analyzed to see their influence on the number of elderly people who have died in the geriatric centres in the different Autonomous Communities (AACC) of Spain. A statistical analysis has been carried out on the variables observed. The conclusions show that in many places where this overflow of deaths has occurred, the residences were private with some exceptions. The influence of physical agents and pollutants has been shown to be a determining factor, especially for the communities of Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha, although it is true that the large number of factors makes the study complicated. The dilemma between air quality and energy efficiency is of great importance, especially when human health is at stake.
... Firstly, all windows are closed for 20% of the occupied time and less than 5% of the unoccupied time in Flat A (Figure 1 -WO: None; DO: All). Only three ventilation measurements were taken in this configuration, but all were below 0.5 h -1 , which is often considered a threshold for adequate ventilation (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012). The vast majority of the ventilation rates measured in all other configurations were over 0.5 h -1 (accounting for the configurations during 80% of the occupied time), at least one window was open in all these configurations. ...
Conference Paper
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Ventilation in dwellings is likely to be impacted by configurations of windows and internal doors, but there is little empirical research investigating this in occupied homes. Closure of internal doors will affect noise, light, heat flow and how air moves into and through a building, as well as the volume of air in which pollutants are diluted. However, most ventilation measurements in homes have either conducted long-term averages in which the effect of use of windows and doors is not addressed, or small numbers of 'snap-shot' measurements in which the distribution of ventilation rates in particular configurations is not known; this reduces our understanding of environmental quality at home. This paper reports the detailed investigation of window and internal door use and their link to ventilation measurements in two occupied flats in the same building over six months. Doors and windows were monitored using event-logging contact sensors and CO2 was measured in all rooms. An algorithm for determining occupied periods was used and ventilation rates were estimated using the CO2 decay technique during unoccupied times. In one of the flats almost 70% of the ventilation measurements were less than 0.5 ach in the configuration in which the occupant spends 55% of their time while at home; in the other flat windows were open for 80% of the occupied time and 90% of the ventilation rates measured with windows open were above 0.5 ach. The dwellings were physically similar, equipped with the same ventilation equipment and subject to the same weather. These results highlight the importance of considering the extent to which conditions during measurement periods (or modelled conditions) reflect the conditions that occupants experience. Further research employing methods able to characterize ventilation in homes and distinguish between occupied and unoccupied times, contextualized by measuring configurations of doors and windows, will support greater understanding of ventilation in dwellings. This could provide insights into the real conditions in homes, supporting effecive modelling and design. Such detailed research would support developments in practice and policymaking, by helping to disentangle the related issues of ventilation rates, indoor pollution, personal exposure to pollutants and the effects of these on health outcomes.
... The housing demand will continue to grow in the forthcoming years, as developed regions extend-and so will related carbon emissions and energy demands. Energy-efficient homes typically use mechanical ventilation systems (Sharpe et al., 2016), higher levels of airtightness, better insulation (Feist et al., 2005), and reduced ventilation rates (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012) to lower their energy demands, and in doing so, the related long-term carbon emissions. Ventilation is a critical aspect that impacts thermal comfort, indoor air quality (microbial and chemical), and moisture-related allergens in homes. ...
Chapter
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The built environment has changed dramatically due to the increased interest in mitigating climate change. Homes are becoming more energy-efficient, responding to energy issues, and reducing carbon emissions primarily. Nevertheless, we started to realize the unintended consequences of these changes that impact a home's indoor environment and occupants' health. Indoor air quality is a critical aspect as indoor pollutants are increasing in homes. More than ever, it is crucial to adhere to the best ventilation practices, building materials, and cleaning products. Additionally, behaviour changes, such as those for healthy homes, can prevent their health impact. Interdisciplinary research between public health and building professionals needs to educate citizens and present evidence for legislative changes and recommendations to spur change to reduce indoor air pollution and protect vulnerable populations preventing harmful effects on future generations' health.
... The main role of building ventilation is to ensure correct IAQ. The different regulations and standards throughout the world are mainly based on "prescriptive" approaches, using airflows or air change rate requirements as performance indicators [7][8][9][10][11]. For example, the French building code for residential ventilation imposes air renewal rates adapted to the house size and the type of ventilation system (different airflow rates are required for constant airflow ventilation and for humidity-controlled ventilation) [12]. ...
Article
Ventilation of residential buildings is an important area of research, since it addresses crucial issues: providing healthy indoor air to occupants, avoiding condensation risk and damage of the building, as well as ensuring energy efficiency. With regard to regulatory or labeling requirements, performance-based approaches for ventilation should be developed. These must ensure that a ventilation system is designed not only to save energy but also to avoid risks to occupants' health. In order to formulate a performance-based approach, a crucial question has to be addressed: What are the relevant indoor air quality (IAQ) performance indicators to be calculated? In this paper, we present an extensive investigation of the literature on IAQ performance in order to identify a reduced set of relevant indicators. We identified five relevant IAQ performance indicators to be used as output data: maximum cumulative exceeding carbon dioxide (CO2) exposure over 1000 ppm, maximum cumulative occupant formaldehyde (HCHO) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure, maximum percentage of time with relative humidity (RH) higher than 70% (condensation risk), and maximum percentage of time with RH outside a range of 30–70% (health risk). Importantly, we demonstrate that a performance-based method using these five IAQ indicators is relevant, applying it to a low-energy house.
... However, the latter is only applicable in areas with low levels of ambient pollutants. 23,24 In cases where source control and natural ventilation are not effective control strategies, using range hoods over the stove and portable air cleaners near the receptor can be a good alternative to reduce PM 2.5 exposure. [25][26][27][28][29][30] In terms of control strategies, AQMs provide an opportunity to alert consumers about degrading levels of air quality in their homes and enable them to perform some of these mitigation strategies. ...
Article
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In this study, we deployed multiple low-cost air quality monitors (AQMs) to investigate the transport of kitchen-generated fine particulate matter (PM2.5) into the bedrooms of four homes of different sizes...
... Concerning ventilation habits, we found that the use of a mechanical ventilation system was associated with 28% lower levels of DINCH, but ventilation through air draft resulted in higher levels of DINP and DIDP metabolites (þ27% and þ15%, respectively, Table 4). The effect of ventilation on indoor air or dust levels of PEs and APs is not well understood, but diluting or removing indoor pollutants through ventilation is recognized as an important component of a 'healthy' building (Dimitroulopoulou 2012). Poor ventilation could in turn lead to higher exposure for humans as a result of increased concentrations of plasticizers in dust or air (Huo et al., 2016). ...
Article
Restrictions on the use of legacy phthalate esters (PEs) as plasticizer chemicals in several consumer products has led to the increased use of alternative plasticizers (APs), such as di-(iso-nonyl)-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate (DEHTP). In the fourth cycle of the Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHS IV, 2016-2020), we monitored exposure to seven PEs (diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP, di-isononyl phthalate (DINP), and di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP))and three APs (DINCH, DEHTP, and di-(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA)) by measuring multiple biomarkers in urine of 416 adolescents from Flanders, Belgium (14-15 years old). The reference values show that exposure to PEs is still widespread, although levels of several PE metabolites (e.g., sum of DEHP metabolites, mono-normal-butyl phthalate (MnBP) and mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP)) have decreased significantly compared to previous human biomonitoring cycles (2003-2018). On the other hand, metabolites of DINCH and DEHTP were detected in practically every participant. Concentrations of AP exposure biomarkers in urine were generally lower than PE metabolites, but calculations of estimated daily intakes (EDIs) showed that exposure to DINCH and DEHTP can be considerable. However, preliminary risk assessment showed that none of the EDI or urinary exposure levels of APs exceeded the available health-based guidance values, while a very low number of participants had levels of MiBP and MnBP exceeding the HBM value. Several significant determinants of exposure could be identified from multiple regression models: the presence of building materials containing PVC, ventilation habits, socio-economic status and season were all associated with PE and AP biomarker levels. Cumulatively, the results of FLEHS IV show that adolescents in Flanders, Belgium, are exposed to a wide range of plasticizer chemicals. Close monitoring over the last decade showed that the exposure levels of restricted PEs have decreased, while newer APs are now frequently detected in humans.
... Poor ventilation itself increases the risk of death regardless of socioeconomic status [54]. Along with crowding, poor ventilation has been identified as having negative effects on health; ventilation regulations differ from country to country and by the space in the house and are not easy to quantify [55]. Assessing ventilation with the presence of a window alone is inappropriate. ...
Article
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Background Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health issue that has long threatened and continues to threaten human health. While previous studies are important in the search for a cure for TB, to eradicate the disease it is also crucial to analyze environmental influences. Therefore, this study determined the potential effect of inadequate housing on TB and the magnitude of the effect. Methods This is a systematic review of the effects of inadequate housing on TB. Between Jan 1, 2011 and Oct 25, 2020, we searched four electronic databases using the search terms “housing AND tuberculosis” or “housing AND TB”. The target population comprised residents of inadequate housing and the homeless. Results We found 26 eligible studies. The distribution of the studies across continents was uneven, and the housing issues of interest seemed to vary depending on the economic level of the country. The eight steps identified in TB development and the consequences thereof were more strongly associated with housing affordability than with housing quality. Conclusions This is the first systematic review to identify the effects of inadequate housing on TB and to categorize inadequate-housing-related exposure to TB in terms of affordability and quality. The steps identified in TB development and the consequences thereof had a greater association with housing affordability than with housing quality. Therefore, public health interventions regarding housing affordability could be more diverse, and interventions that support affordable housing for residents of inadequate housing and the homeless should proceed simultaneously to improve housing quality.
... In cold, wet or windy weather people are reluctant to open windows as they create cold draughts and hence they often have lower ventilation rates in winter. 107 This can be a particular challenge in modern airtight buildings which have very low infiltration rates for energy efficiency, 108 and for people on low incomes who are trying to keep heating costs down. Low humidity winter conditions also allow for greater evaporation of respiratory droplets, 109 resulting in the potential for smaller aerosols to remain suspended for longer. ...
... Building standards have changed to meet requirements for energy efficiency and carbon reduction which has lowered infiltration rates, making intentional ventilation paramount to the dilution of indoor generated pollutants to provide acceptable indoor air quality (Shrubsole et al., 2014). According to a 2012 review article by Dimitroulopoulou (2012) ventilation rates in Europe often fall below 0.5 h −1 (a common regulatory standard) which can lead to an accumulation of indoor generated air pollutants, and consequently increased pollutant exposure risks. Although there are several ways to achieve the required air change rate, including continuous mechanical extract, or supply and extract with heat recovery, residences in many places have relied primarily, or entirely, upon natural ventilation (i.e. ...
Article
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One of the most widely available technologies to clean the air in homes of particulate matter of less than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5), known to have negative health impacts, are portable home air purifiers (HAPs). This paper presents research which (1) explored the effectiveness of HAPs in real-world conditions in 57 homes in three European cities; (2) examined if HAPs affect users’ perceptions of the indoor air quality (IAQ) at home; and (3) considered the motivations for occupants’ operation of HAPs. Results from this study found that PM2.5 concentrations in bedrooms were reduced by 45% to 69%; perceptions of IAQ were not correlated with measured high PM2.5 levels; occupants reported the HAPs to have a ‘cooling’ effect, which may explain why the predominant driver of HAP use was thermal comfort, rather than IAQ, in all three cities. The latter finding was supported by a statistically significant increase in the probability of HAP use with increasing indoor temperatures. If the operation of HAPs can be managed, or fully automated, to reflect indoor air pollution levels rather than thermal conditions, better pollutant reduction would be feasible and their use to reduce PM2.5 may help mitigate the negative health effects of exposure whilst at home.
... −1 in the kitchen during cooking periods, thanks to a dedicated ventilation exhaust component. We can note that French airing regulation results in ACRs among the lowest in Europe, as shown by [36,37]. Indeed, several European national regulations require that ACRs in whole residential buildings vary from 0.23 to 1.3 h −1 , with 0.5 h −1 being a common reference value. ...
Article
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Background and gaps. The topic of indoor air quality (IAQ) in low-energy buildings has received increasing interest over the past few years. Often based on two measurement points and on passive measurements over one week, IAQ studies are struggling to allow the calculation of pollutants exposure. Objectives. We would like to improve the evaluation of the health impacts, through measurements able to estimate the exposure of the occupants. Methodology. This article presents detailed IAQ measurements taken in an energy-efficient occupied house in France. Two campaigns were conducted in winter and spring. Total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), formaldehyde, the particle numbers and PM2.5, carbon dioxide (CO2), relative humidity (RH), temperature (T), ventilation airflows, and weather conditions were dynamically measured in several points. Laboratory and low-cost devices were used, and an inter-comparison was carried out for them. A survey was conducted to record all the daily activities of the inhabitants. IAQ performance indicators based on the different pollutants were calculated. Results. PM2.5 cumulative exposure did not exceed the threshold available in the literature. Formaldehyde concentrations were high, in the kitchen, where the average concentrations exceeded the threshold. However, the formaldehyde cumulative exposure of the occupants did not exceed the threshold. TVOC concentrations were found to reach the threshold. With these measurements performed with high spatial and temporal discretization, we showed that such detailed data allow for a better-quality health impacts assessment and for a better understanding of the transport of pollutants between rooms.
... h -1 in apartments and 0.45±0.22 h -1 in houses in Europe [9], in which AER <0.5 h -1 occupants are more likely to experience non-specific symptoms. ...
Article
Full-text available
Houses are the places where people spend most of their time. That is why indoor air quality at home is essential for public health. Sufficient ventilation is the factor to avoid accumulation of pollutants in indoor air, which include microorganisms, such as SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, adequate ventilation is needed to provide good indoor air quality for human health and reduce infection risk at home. There are no reports of residential ventilation rates in Turkey. In this study, CO2 concentrations were measured in two residences in Izmir, Turkey. Three experiments were conducted to determine background concentrations and the rate of natural ventilation with infiltration and opening windows. Results show that air exchange provided by infiltration is low for both case rooms, while adequate ventilation could be achieved with natural ventilation under the studied conditions. Infiltration provided air exchange and ventilation rates of 0.18 h-1 and 5.9 m3/h for Case 1 and 0.29 h-1 and 8.23 m3/h for Case 2, respectively. Airexchange and ventilation rates were increased to 2.36 h-1 and 76.9 m3/h for Case 1 and 1.2 h-1 and 34 m3/h for Case 2, respectively, by opening the windows. Although ventilation can be provided by opening the windows, the other factors that determine its rate, e.g., meteorological variables, cannot be controlled by the occupants. Consequently, people cannot ensure the good indoor air quality in bedrooms and sufficient reduction in transmission of pathogenic microorganisms; therefore, risk of spreading diseases such as COVID-19 at home.
... Poor quality housing with leaks, draughts, poorly insulated walls is likely to benefit from shallow and medium insulation levels in eliminating the dampness problem. But as insulation level is increased the relationship maybe reversed -with increasing indoor air tightness, indoor humidity sources may not be dispersed well enough and may start to cause mould growth (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012). The relationship between housing insulation levels and indoor dampness may take a shape of letter U with an optimum situation around the middle -medium levels of insulation. ...
Technical Report
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The main objective of the COMBI project (Calculating and Operationalizing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Europe) was to capture the multiple impacts of energy efficiency while using the same energy activity data in various fields of research and policy: air pollution, resource efficiency, social welfare, economy and energy system/security. This report has been renamed to reflect a narrower scope adopted for the social welfare work package – public health co-benefits in relation to energy poverty. Air pollution-related public health aspects have been explored in COMBI report D3.4. According to the European Union’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU SILC), 9.4% of European Union’s population were unable to keep their homes adequately warm and 15.2% lived in residential housing characterized by a leaking roof, damp walls, floors or foundation, and rot in window frames or floors in 2015 – base year for COMBI assessment. Indoor cold is related to excess morbidity and mortality due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases during the cold season. Indoor dampness is related to mould growth, which in turn may give rise to asthma. Energy efficiency measures applied in the existing residential housing, such as building envelope insulation, replacement or installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are believed to mitigate the extent of these health conditions. Improved energy efficiency standards of new buildings are believed to prevent from energy poverty-related health implications. This report quantifies the impact of energy efficiency interventions on energy poverty-related public health conditions – excess cold weather deaths due to indoor cold exposure and asthma due to indoor dampness exposure. To evaluate the current extent of burden of disease in relation to these residential housing-related conditions, the standard excess winter deaths formula has been further developed to account for recent methodological criticism – excess cold weather deaths have been quantified instead. Burden of disease approach has been used to evaluate the extent of asthma morbidity due to indoor dampness. The future projections assumed that the annual burden of disease remained the same in relation to all other factors with the exception of changes in the two factors at the focus of COMBI – indoor cold and indoor dampness (ceteris paribus). The prevalence of indoor cold and indoor dampness is modelled in relation to the extent and type of changes in the residential housing stock and the extent of social welfare policies. Excess cold weather deaths accounted for around 323 000 cases annually in 1996-2014 in the EU-28. Out of those, around 70 000 on average annually could be attributed to indoor cold exposure. The burden of disease of asthma attributable to indoor dampness amounted to over 71 000 Disability Adjusted Life-Years (DALYs) in 2015 in the EU-28. There is a mismatch between those who can afford energy efficiency retrofits and those who need them the most and would benefit from them the most (not only energy savings, but also improved health). Comparing the extent of the energy efficiency interventions in the residential sector under both scenarios in 2030 and the current prevalence of indoor cold and indoor dampness, in theory diverting all of the projected resources to the socially vulnerable should eradicate nearly all premature excess cold weather deaths and indoor dampness-related asthma (“socially vulnerable first” social policy scenario). The societal value of public health co-benefits would be maximized. The public health impact of energy efficiency improvement actions in 2030 in the EU-28 ranges from a minimum of just over 3 000 of premature deaths avoided due to indoor cold under COMBI reference scenario coupled with a weak social policy to around 27 500 of avoided premature deaths under COMBI efficiency scenario coupled with a strong social policy; and a minimum of 2 700 DALYs of asthma morbidity avoided due to indoor dampness under COMBI reference scenario coupled with a weak social policy to around 25 000 DALYs under COMBI efficiency scenario coupled with a strong social policy. The associated economic value of avoided annual public health damage in 2030 ranges from 323 million EUR to 2.5 billion EUR due to premature mortality due to indoor cold; and from 338 million EUR to of 2.9 billion EUR due to asthma morbidity due to indoor dampness. Accelerated energy efficiency policies coupled with strong social policies could deliver additional co-benefits in the year of 2030 of around 24 500 avoided premature deaths due to indoor cold and the associated avoided economic damage of 2.2 billion EUR, and around 22 300 DALYs of avoided asthma due to indoor dampness and the associated avoided economic damage of 2.6 billion EUR.
... Therefore, sufficient air ventilation is prudent for indoor buildings. The ventilation system is functional to introduce the circulating of fresh air throughout the building by eliminating the indoor air contaminants to achieve good indoor air quality, to lower the health risk problems among the occupants 14 and to lower the indoor temperature. 15 Besides that, natural ventilation could improve IAQ, thermal comfort, reduce energy consumption, and provide comfort for building occupants. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study observed the influence of different ventilation, indoor and outdoor activities (i.e., cooking, praying, sweeping, gathering, and exhaust from motorcycle) between a bungalow house (i.e., stack and cross ventilation applications) and a terrace house (i.e., one-sided ventilation application). We appraised the indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort. We monitored the indoor air contaminants (i.e., TVOC, CO, CH2O, PM10, O3, and CO2) and specific physical parameters (i.e., T, RH, and AS) for four days in the morning (i.e., 6.00 a.m. – 9.00 a.m.), morning-evening (i.e., 11.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.), and evening-night (i.e., 5.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.) sessions. The results found that cooking activities are the major activities that contributed to the increase of the TVOC, CO, PM10, O3, and CO2 concentrations in the bungalow and terrace houses. However, IAQ exceeded the Industry Code of Practice on IAQ (ICOP) limit in the terrace house. The bungalow house applies stack and cross ventilation, double area, and a long pathway of indoor air contaminants movements. Besides that, the results indicated that cooking activities worsen the ventilation system because CO2 exceeded the ICOP limit on Day 2 at 74.1 % (evening-night session) and Day 3 at 13.2 % (morning session), 11% (morning-evening session), and 50.1 % (evening-night session). Moreover, the combination of mechanical (i.e., opened all fans) and natural ventilation (i.e., opened all doors, windows, and fans) is the best application in the house without a cooking ventilator with lower indoor air movement. Furthermore, the temperatures exceeding the ICOP limit of 23-26 °C for both bungalow and terrace houses could be lower indoor air movement, which is less than the ICOP limit of 0.15-0.5 m/s and high outdoor air temperature. Therefore, it is prudent to have an efficient ventilation system for acceptable indoor air quality and thermal comfort in the family house.
... Finally, the air exchange rate, a, is considered a critical exposure factor that may potentially modify health effect estimates reported in epidemiological studies (Long and Sarnat, 2004). However, studies show significant variation in air exchange rates, both in time and between buildings, countries and occupants (Dimitroulopoulou, 2012;Dimitroulopoulou and Bartzis, 2014;Øie et al., 1998). Further, measurements of representative air exchange rates are subject to significant uncertainties, particularly regarding occupancy, multizonal airflows, sensor accuracies, temporal variations and analytical methods (Batterman, 2017;Johnston and Stafford, 2016;Kabirikopaei and Lau, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Long term, continuous indoor and outdoor pollutant monitoring was evaluated from a case study hospital, school, office and 18 apartments in the UK. Data was examined in order to explore the dynamic behaviour of indoor-outdoor ratios (I/O) for both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Traditionally I/O ratios have been determined as single aggregate values or static parameters, from passive sampling or short periods of continuous monitoring. Whilst widely reported, I/O ratios are seen as too variable to be of wider use. However, this work reveals the dynamic nature of I/O ratios, with strong diurnal and seasonal variation observed for both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Higher I/O ratios tended to be seen during core or occupied hours, associated with increased human activity and higher ventilation rates. This means that static I/O ratios determined by passive sampling techniques, rather than continuous measurements filtered to core hours, may underestimate I/O ratios associated with occupant exposure. Further, the I/O ratio is shown to be strongly influenced by occupant activity and window opening behaviour. As such, it may represent a personal variable as much as one associated with a building. It is argued that traditionally reported static I/O ratios simplify these dynamic behaviour and modes of operation into a single aggregate value, losing key information in the process. Further, without contextual information on the operation and use of a building during measurements a reported I/O ratio may be hard to interpret or compare to wider studies. Finally, it is argued that the I/O ratio, whilst a limited metric, when evaluated dynamically provides a useful building operation parameter, describing the relationship the building has with the outdoor environment. This can help better define ventilation strategies, schedules, the influence of occupant behaviour and significance of indoor sources.
... The preferable indoor air quality and airflow rates are presented in the EU directives, binding for EU countries and standards. They are presented in such documents as Energy performance of buildings directive with levels of Energy performance Certification, EN 16798-1 standard in general, and EN 15214 in specific for the IAQ (indoor air quality) [3][4][5]. Most recommendations and buildings codes consider the minimum airflow rate, temperature level and CO 2 concentration. ...
Article
Full-text available
The paper analyses the performance of a five-storey apartment building equipped with modern passive stack ventilation in Nordic conditions. The passive stack ventilation system was retrofitted in 2019, and novel self-regulating air inlet devices with filters were equipped. The building was simulated with IDA ICE software, where the model of the self-regulating terminal units was developed using manufacturer product data. Several case scenarios were created to analyze the effects of poor maintenance, improved airtightness, and window opening on the system performance. For the analysis, one-room and three-room apartments on the second and fifth floors have been chosen. The CO2 concentration and indoor air temperature were analyzed and compared with EN 16798-1 standard guidelines. The results show a significant effect of poor maintenance and possibility to open windows on the CO2 concentration. The results also show a trend for the one-room apartments to overheat despite having a higher air change rate than the three-room apartments. The three-room apartments tolerate over-heating, although they are much more sensitive to poor maintenance. Furthermore, the apartments on the fifth floor are even more sensitive to poor maintenance, and three-room apartments there showed warning levels of CO2. Improving the envelope airtightness does not benefit the IAQ of the apartments.
... Adequate ventilation is essential for the health and comfort of building occupants [38]. As buildings have become more air-tight over recent years, but also because of the Covid-19 pandemic, minimum ventilation rates have become more strict [39][40][41]. ...
Article
Full-text available
At present many buildings, that are not able to meet the changing needs of owners and users, are demolished before they reach their technical lifespan. To avoid such waste, the construction industry is shifting to adaptable building practices. Comfort systems in buildings that can effectively deal with an adaptable context are critical to the success of this transition. After all, these systems must ensure that the health and comfort of occupants is guaranteed in all possible flexibility scenarios. In practice, comfort systems that provide ventilation strongly adhere to firmly rooted approaches with limited adaptability. Moreover, implementing adaptability does not happen at the conceptual level, but is achieved by oversizing components and incorporating demand control. Alternative ventilation systems that are conceptually more compatible with an adaptable context are rarely even considered. To fill this knowledge gap, this review article identifies and uses various adaptability characteristics of ventilation systems to qualify both contemporary and innovative ventilation systems based on their ability to facilitate a flexible building use. By juxtaposing the systems, the article goes beyond the state-of-the-art and learns from the meta-level rather than individual cases. It is concluded that traditional ventilation strategies do not provide the most appropriate solution for an adaptive context, that bulky ductwork is incompatible with long-term flexible building use, and that specific guidelines for designing adaptable ventilation systems are lacking. Further research should look into this and additionally quantify the environmental and financial benefits of adaptable ventilation systems through life cycle assessment and life cycle cost evaluation.
... Therefore, the indoor "in-person" life must come with strategies ensuring safety of people, specifically in highly occupied spaces such as school and university classroomsthe places where investment in the future of the community occurs. The main acknowledged measures that limit the spread of viruses involve maintaining physical distancing (in the range of 2-m) [3] and improving ventilation indoors by increasing the ventilation rate to a sufficient level [1,4,5]. ...
Article
This work investigates the performance of a novel chair-ventilation design integrating ductless personalized ventilation (PV) and personalized exhaust (PE) in a classroom conditioned by displacement ventilation (DV). The aim is to protect seated students and restrict contaminants' transport in high-density classroom where students are seated at a typical separating distance of 0.4 m. A 3-D computational fluid dynamics model was developed and experimentally validated in a climatic chamber including a prototype of the proposed ventilation system. The cross-contamination was assessed using the inhaled intake fraction (iF) index, which is the ratio of the contaminants’ mass inhaled by an exposed person to that exhaled by an infected person. The proposed system effectiveness was assessed via an exposure reduction index (ER) when compared to “no chair ventilation” case at the same separating distance of 0.4 m, as well as a “large distancing” case at separating distance of 2 m in a room that is only ventilated via DV. It was found that the proposed chair system protected exposed occupants against cross-contamination. The chair system, compared to the no chair ventilation case, was able to reduce the exposure level of students due to the combined protective roles of the dilution of breathing zone (BZ) by the PV flow and the shielding effect of the PE flow. By comparing the proposed system to the large separating distance case, it was still able to provide similar and even higher protection levels for all students when both PV/PE systems operated at flowrates higher than 6 l/s.
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Air‐change rate is an important parameter influencing residential air quality. This article critically assesses the state of knowledge regarding residential air‐change rates, emphasizing periods of normal occupancy. Cumulatively, about 40 prior studies have measured air‐change rates in approximately 10,000 homes using tracer gases, including metabolic CO2. The central tendency of the air‐change rates determined in these studies is reasonably described as lognormal with a geometric mean of 0.5 h⁻¹ and a geometric standard deviation of 2.0. However, the geometric means of individual studies vary, mainly within the range 0.2–1 h⁻¹. Air‐change rates also vary with time in residences. Factors influencing the air‐change rate include weather (indoor–outdoor temperature difference and wind speed), the leakiness of the building envelope, and, when present, operation of mechanical ventilation systems. Occupancy‐associated factors are also important, including window opening, induced exhaust from flued combustion, and use of heating and cooling systems. Empirical and methodological challenges remain to be effectively addressed. These include clarifying the time variation of air‐change rates in residences during occupancy and understanding the influence of time‐varying air‐change rates on tracer‐gas measurement techniques. Important opportunities are available to improve understanding of air‐change rates and interzonal flows as factors affecting the source‐to‐exposure relationships for indoor air pollutants.
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While household mould growth has been increasingly highlighted in response to its adverse health outcomes and building management burden, studies are reviewed respectively from perspective of epidemiological survey, or building technology. This paper thus presents a literature review to address the building environment and mould exposure in homes, including the mould growth and exposure characteristics, interaction with building features, design requirements from current standards. The review indicates that mould growth favors damp indoor environments in homes and is positively facilitated by warm temperature and high humidity, releasing spores such as Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium into air and resulting in sensitization and activation of allergic responses in airways like asthma. The building energy efficient designs, such as increased insulation and airtightness improve the thermal environment but possibly accumulate indoor moisture and increase mould growth risks, due to lack of sufficient ventilation. While current indoor humidity and/or mould related standards do not fully emphasize refined requirements, as a result of the diversity of mould species, temporal and spatial variations; due to variation in individual susceptibility, the critical thresholds for mould exposure safety have not been linked to health risk and clearly established. Therefore, this review suggests a multidisciplinary cooperation of epidemiology, building technology, as well as biological and molecular research in future, to facilitate understandings of the causal mechanism, quantitative assessment, and acceptable thresholds for mould exposure and management in buildings.
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Buildings are more and more airtight in order to meet the energy performance requirements of national regulations. To provide appropriate air quality for occupants’ energy conscious ventilation systems are installed. However, in residential buildings natural ventilation methods are widely used. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic lots of people working initially in offices suddenly started to perform their activities at home, so they worked in so called home-office regime. Thus, rooms without mechanical ventilation were transformed from one day to other in offices. However, appropriate indoor air quality has to be provided since the human performance strongly depends by the CO2 concentration in the air. The aim of this research was to analyse and compare different natural aeration methods which can be adopted in this cases from energy point of view. A residential building built in 2014 was taken as an example, having gas filled triple glazed windows Class 3. The air change rates were determined at different temperatures having the window fully opened or tilted. Measurements were performed with and without occupants in the room in order to validate the results obtained from CO2 balance equation. The energy demand for heating up the fresh air was analysed. It was shown that up to 18% energy saving may be obtained choosing properly the aeration strategy. The paper draws the attention of stakeholders on the fact that changing the function of a room can lead to significant increase of energy consumption, which can be mitigated controlling properly the aeration process.
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Il report ha lo scopo di definire elementi di background metodologici per una valutazione multisorgente dell’esposizione a inquinanti chimici in ambienti indoor in aree di particolare rilevanza ambientale a forte pressione industriale, dove l’intrusione di inquinanti dall’aria atmosferica o dal sottosuolo può determinare l’esposizione ad inquinanti atmosferici pericolosi, in abitazioni, scuole, edifiici non industriali presenti nell’area
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The indoor space of residential building is limited, especially in building retrofit, to improve the indoor space utilization and the performance of exhaust air heat recovery system, a novel dual-cylinder rotary compressor with independent suction and discharge ports was designed to drive an inverter parallel-loop exhaust air heat pump. Through the experiments and analyzing the parallel-loop exhaust air heat pump system working characteristics under variable compressor frequency and different fresh air volume flow rate, the optimized method is proposed and verified experimentally. Finally, the annual energy efficient operation plan was proposed, and the seasonal performance factor and seasonal average input power under this operation plan in three typical countries/organization were calculated. Results show that the system COP can be greatly improved by applying a mixed air supply method during winter. When the fresh-air-to-return-air ratio is 1:1 and the outdoor temperature is −5 °C, the system COP reached 10.18, which is the highest comparing with the related studies. In summer, the system COP is increased by increasing the ventilation volume flow rate. When the operation of the parallel-loop exhaust air heat pump system follows the energy efficient operation plan to ensure the temperature effectiveness over 100% and the outdoor working condition complies with GB 21455–2013, the heating season performance factor, heating season average input power, cooling season performance factor, and cooling season average input power are 7.22, 0.6909 kW, 2.83, and 0.8167 kW, respectively. The work would provide guidance for the development of exhaust air heat recovery system in residential building.
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Sealing the gaps in a house, or increasing airtightness, is a common approach to reduce energy consumption, as well as make the house more comfortable to live in. However, people need a certain amount of fresh air in their homes to maintain air quality, and concerns have been raised that increased airtightness may have the unintended consequence of reduced indoor air quality (IAQ). This rapid review identified 20 studies that investigated the impact of increasing airtightness on indoor air quality. These studies covered a broad range of locations, climates and building types. Indoor air quality parameters investigated included CO2, PM2.5, formaldehyde, VOC, NO2, relative humidity, mould issues, carbon monoxide (CO) and radon. Based on the studies reviewed, there was limited evidence to identify direct correlations between increasing airtightness and indoor air quality in general. A negative correlation with CO2 concentration was found from the studies, with concentrations increasing with a decrease in the air tightness levels. There was evidence of a negative correlation for VOC and formaldehyde, although a number of studies found no clear relationship for these parameters and further studies would be required to understand this impact. A positive correlation was found between the air exchange rate and PM2.5 and NO2 concentrations in areas where there are high outdoor levels. In these cases, increasing airtightness was found to reduce the infiltration of outdoor contaminants. There were no direct correlations identified for mould issues, radon or CO, or for PM2.5 or NO2 in areas with average outdoor levels.
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In this paper different mechanical ventilation methods were analysed in a test room, having similar dimensions with a small office room. A series of measurements were performed with mixing, displacement and personalized isothermal ventilation having one or two occupants in the room. The main goal of this research was to investigate the air cleaning performance of different ventilation strategies in the breathing zone. The CO2 emission of involved persons was determined and it was shown that one person released 13.4 l/h CO2 while two persons released 23.63 l/h CO2. Taking into account the spread of viruses and the requirements related to separation of persons in public buildings, measurements were carried out with “open” working desk and with “screened” desk as well. Using the balance equation of pollutants, the equation which describes the CO2 concentration variation in the closed space was developed and used for calculations. Air flow visualization was done for different ventilation modes. The local ventilation effectiveness was determined for each ventilation mode based on the measured and calculated CO2 concentrations depending on the provided fresh air flow, air distribution and occupants number. In the case of screened desk the personalized ventilation shows the highest local effectiveness (1.6–2.7 in comparison with 0.6–1.4 in the case of mixing and displacement ventilation).
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This article presents the impact of climate change on air treatment processes and energy demand in a selected air-conditioning system. The analysis was performed for a system supplying rooms with pre-treated primary air. Further treatment occurred directly in the rooms with individual devices such as fan coils or chilled beams. The analysis of the second stage of air treatment was not part of this study. The calculations were made for the city of Warsaw, where, according to the climate analysis for the period 1961–2020, an increase in outside temperature by 0.4 °C per decade and an increase in air humidity by 0.2 g/kg per decade were observed. The system analysis was divided into two stages. The first, including calculations made for monthly average climate data for the entire period of 1961–2020, shows changes in the energy demand of the system, resulting from progressive climate change. This analysis confirmed the general tendency of increasing demand for cooling energy and decreasing demand for heating energy, which is also observed in many other regions of the world. The second stage, based on calculations for hourly climate data in selected years, is an analysis of the operation of all elements of the system equipment. Research has identified areas that will have an increasing impact on the energy efficiency of the whole air condition system during further climate change.
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In most situations, natural ventilation of buildings is not well controlled. Consequently, either insufficient ventilation or over-ventilation is inevitable. However, the use of an automatic and active window requires sensors and driving motors, which entails a non-trivial initial investment and maintenance cost. This investigation proposed a passive, horizontally pivoted window with the sash swinging in the wind for adjustment of the window opening size. The center of gravity of the sash is located above the pivot, while the section of the sash below the pivot is larger than the upper section. Due to the opposing actions of the gravitational torque and the torque created by the blowing wind, the size of the window opening increases or decreases with the wind speed. The above passive pivoted window was constructed and then installed in a laboratory house. The flow rate was measured as a function of the pressure difference. In addition, EnergyPlus modeling was used to simulate an apartment equipped with the passive pivoted windows after validation of the model. The natural ventilation rate, the percentage of time with unacceptable indoor CO2 concentration, and the cooling and heating loads were examined. The performance of the pivoted windows was also compared with that of the traditional regular windows. It was found that the passive pivoted window provided a much more stable natural ventilation rate and better indoor air quality without additional energy consumption. The passive pivoted window has no sensor or motor and thus requires no energy input.
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Giorgos Petrou and colleagues argue for systematic large scale monitoring of indoor air to avoid unintended harms to health from home energy efficiency programmes
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Building ventilation is important for occupants' health. There are few studies of associations between home ventilation and occupant's health in China. During 2013-2016, we measured ventilation in 399 homes in Tianjin and Cangzhou, China, and surveyed the health history of children. Ventilation rates were measured using mass balance of occupant generated CO2 . The associations of home ventilation with children's asthma and allergy were analyzed in different strata of time and space. A low bedroom ventilation at night was significantly associated with an increased proportion of rhinitis among children (rhinitis current, adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.59; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01-2.49; diagnosed rhinitis, AOR: 3.02 (1.16-7.89)). Our findings suggest a dose-response relationship between ventilation rate at night in children's bedrooms and rhinitis current. The night-time ventilation rate in bedrooms has a greater association with rhinitis than the whole home ventilation rate during daytime.
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Cited By (since 1996): 5, Export Date: 4 October 2012, Source: Scopus, Language of Original Document: English, Correspondence Address: Santamouris, M.; Group Building Environmental Studies, Physics Department, University of Athens, Athens, Greece, References: Alevantis, L., Xenaki-Petreas, M., Indoor air quality in practice (1994) 'Energy Conservation in Buildings', , In M Santamouris and DN Assimakopoulos, (Editors), Central Institution Energy Efficiency Education, University of Athens, Athens, Greece;
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Phthalates from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics may have adverse effects on airways and immunologic systems, but the evidence has not been reviewed systematically. We reviewed the evidence for the role of exposure to phthalates from PVC products in the development of asthma and allergies. We conducted a Medline database search (1950 through May 2007) for relevant studies on the respiratory and allergic effects of exposure to phthalates from PVC products. We based this review on 27 human and 14 laboratory toxicology studies. Two mouse inhalation experiments indicated that mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) has the ability to modulate the immune response to exposure to a coallergen. The data suggested a no observed effect level of 30 microg MEHP/m3, calculated to be below the estimated level of human exposure in common environments. Case reports and series (n = 9) identified and verified cases of asthma that were very likely caused by fumes emitted from PVC film. Epidemiologic studies in adults (n = 10), mostly small studies in occupational settings, showed associations between heated PVC fumes and asthma and respiratory symptoms; studies in children (n = 5) showed an association between PVC surface materials in the home and the risk of asthma [fixed-effects model: summary odds ratio (OR), 1.55; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.18-2.05; four studies] and allergies (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.09-1.60; three studies). High levels of phthalates from PVC products can modulate the murine immune response to a coallergen. Heated PVC fumes possibly contribute to development of asthma in adults. Epidemiologic studies in children show associations between indicators of phthalate exposure in the home and risk of asthma and allergies. The lack of objective exposure information limits the epidemiologic data.
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Unlabelled: In a nested case-control study with 198 children with asthmatic and allergic symptoms (cases) and 202 healthy controls in Värmland, Sweden, we have investigated the relationship between mold spore exposure (mean colony-forming unit) indoor and (i) different indexes of moldy odor indoor (observed by professional inspectors and reported by parents), (ii) visible signs of dampness in the homes of the children (observed and reported), and (iii) doctor-diagnosed asthma/allergy in children. No association was found between the spore concentration indoor and moldy odor and signs of visible dampness in the homes. When a semi-quantitative method in distinguishing between moldy houses or non-moldy houses was used, there were no significant differences between the observed indexes of moldy odor or visible signs of dampness (both observed and reported). No association could be found between the spore concentration in indoor air and asthma/allergy in the children. Practical implications: Mold spore exposure indoor have been suggested as a possible explanation for airway problems such as asthma and allergy among people living in buildings with moisture-related problems. However, this investigation could not find any associations between the spore concentrations in indoor air and signs of dampness and moldy odor reported by parents or observed by professional inspectors. Neither was there any association between the indoor spore concentration and asthma/allergy among children. With these results, there is no reason for one-time air sampling of mold colony-forming unit (CFU) in indoor air of homes to identify risk factors for asthma/allergy in children living in Scandinavian countries.
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The aim of this review was to assess the evidence from recent prospective studies that long-term traffic pollution could contribute to the development of asthma-like symptoms and allergic sensitization in children. We have reviewed cohort studies published since 2002 and found in PubMed in Oct 2008. In all, 13 papers based on data from 9 cohorts have evaluated the relationship between traffic exposure and respiratory health. All surveys reported associations with at least some of the studied respiratory symptoms. The outcome varied, however, according to the age of the child. Nevertheless, the consistency in the results indicates that traffic exhaust contributes to the development of respiratory symptoms in healthy children. Potential effects of traffic exhaust on the development of allergic sensitization were only assessed in the four European birth cohorts. Long-term exposure to outdoor air pollutants had no association with sensitization in ten-year-old schoolchildren in Norway. In contrast, German, Dutch and Swedish preschool children had an increased risk of sensitization related to traffic exhaust despite fairly similar levels of outdoor air pollution as in Norway. Traffic-related effects on sensitization could be restricted to individuals with a specific genetic polymorphism. Assessment of gene-environment interactions on sensitization has so far only been carried out in a subgroup of the Swedish birth cohort. Further genetic association studies are required and may identify individuals vulnerable to adverse effects from traffic-related pollutants. Future studies should also evaluate effects of traffic exhaust on the development and long term outcome of different phenotypes of asthma and wheezing symptoms.
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It is unclear whether asthma is overdiagnosed in developed countries, particularly among obese individuals, who may be more likely than nonobese people to experience dyspnea. We conducted a longitudinal study involving nonobese (body mass index 20-25) and obese (body mass index >/= 30) individuals with asthma that had been diagnosed by a physician. Participants were recruited from 8 Canadian cities by means of random-digit dialing. A diagnosis of current asthma was excluded in those who did not have evidence of acute worsening of asthma symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction or bronchial hyperresponsiveness, despite being weaned off asthma medications. We stopped asthma medications in those in whom a diagnosis of asthma was excluded and assessed their clinical outcomes over 6 months. Of 540 individuals with physician-diagnosed asthma who participated in the study, 496 (242 obese and 254 nonobese) could be conclusively assessed for a diagnosis of asthma. Asthma was ultimately excluded in 31.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 26.3%-37.9%) in the obese group and in 28.7% (95% CI 23.5%-34.6%) in the nonobese group. Overdiagnosis of asthma was no more likely to occur among obese individuals than among nonobese individuals (p = 0.46). Of those in whom asthma was excluded, 65.5% did not need to take asthma medication or seek health care services because of asthma symptoms during a 6-month follow-up period. About one-third of obese and nonobese individuals with physician-diagnosed asthma did not have asthma when objectively assessed. This finding suggests that, in developed countries such as Canada, asthma is overdiagnosed.
Article
Because of the energy saving constructions and the use of pollutants containing construction materials is the natural air exchange rate of new or redecorated buildings often underneath 0.5 h-1 which is to low from the hygienic point of view. It is demanded an air exchange rate between 0.8 h-1 and 1 h-1 in used rooms. We are giving an overview about air exchanging rates and we are presenting a method for measuring air exchange rates which we further developed. Through a thermostabilisated tracergas source the tracergas is emitting continuously into the room. The evaluation is made by GC/ECD. It is possible to detect air exchange rates until 0.01 h-1. Some results from our institute are presented too.
Article
When interpreting seasonal variations of indoor concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC), the ventilation rate must be known. Therefore, a method has been developed which permits the simultaneous determination of the average ventilation rate and the concentration of VOC in a room over an integration period of two week with the same passive sampler. Hexafluorobenzene (HFB), a non-toxic substance, was chosen as the tracer so as not to interfere in the gas chromatographic analysis of VOC in indoor air. Emission rates of HFB sources were determined at various temperatures from 15 to 30°C. After a test of the procedure for sampling periods of one and two weeks in an experimental chamber at ventilation rates between 0.5 and 2 h⁻¹, the procedure was successfully applied under field conditions. Good agreement was obtained when comparing the HFB method with a perfluorocarbon technique.
Article
Knowledge of the occurrence of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in indoor air has been steadily increasing during the last few years. However, information about the extent of the variation of VOC concentrations due to changing seasonal conditions has remained scarce. To fill this gap, VOC concentrations in 12 households in Berlin were followed over one year by exposing passive samplers for 26 two-week periods each. The analysis of VOC included determinations of alkanes, aromatics, halocarbons, and polar compounds. Smokers' and nonsmokers' homes in old and new buildings were chosen for the study. For each sampling period, the test families listed activities and the use of products susceptible to emit VOC. In one part of the study, VOC determinations were completed by measurements of the ventilation rate. In most of the households, the total VOC concentration level in winter was about two to three times higher than in summer. The compounds emanating from intermittent sources could in part be assigned to the activities of the occupants.
Article
HOPE (Health Optimisation Protocol for Energy-efficient Buildings) was a collaborative European project, which aimed to demonstrate that energy-efficient buildings can be both healthy and comfortable for their occupants. The fieldwork within the HOPE project included a preliminary cross-sectional stage using building checklists and occupant questionnaires, and a more detailed investigation of a small number of home and office buildings. These measurements aimed to evaluate indoor environmental quality (including ventilation). The main problems found in the UK offices were related to ventilation, high temperature and high levels of particulate matter, areas that were also highlighted as concerns in the occupant questionnaires. This means that perceived occupant health may be a preliminary indication for office building evaluation. However, that was not the case in the UK homes, where occupant health and comfort were not consistent with physical environmental measurements, indicating that perceived health and comfort was based on more than the physical parameters and cannot be fully explained by the measurements.
Article
In this study we estimate the air leakage distribution of single-family dwellings in Catalonia and use a statistical analysis of an airtightness database for single-family dwellings in France to identify the building characteristics that have the greatest influence on airtightness. The most significant variables are found to be the structure type, the floor area, the age of the building, the number of stories and the insulation type. A multiple linear regression technique is then applied to establish a predictive model for deriving an estimated value of airtightness from these characteristics. To estimate the infiltration airflow, a stochastic simulation of the building characteristics was performed per census tract using real data on the distributions of building variables taken from the census information. The model is then applied to determine the power law coefficient and the airtightness distribution. The predicted flow coefficients are combined with the AIM-2 model and given meteorological conditions to determine the infiltration airflow. Two sets of meteorological conditions are considered: average conditions and extreme conditions for each season.
Article
In this study, we performed a series of trials to measure the infiltration air exchange rate (ACH) of several single-family dwellings throughout Catalonia, as well as the ACH of sealed rooms that could be used as indoor shelters. A shelter is an indoor room where people can take protection in case of a toxic gas release, while the toxic cloud passes through the dwelling. Experimental measurements were made using the tracer gas decay technique with CO2 as the tracer gas in 2 periods—summer and winter—with the aim of characterizing air infiltration in Catalan dwellings. The geometric means obtained for the ACH of shelters and dwellings were 0.16 and 0.23h−1, respectively, that is, lower than those reported for North American (0.56h−1) and Greek (0.76h−1) dwellings. In general, the ACH was lower for shelters than for dwellings, and the average reduction obtained in shelters with respect to dwellings was 35%. The largest reductions were obtained in old dwellings with small floor areas and few stories. As for meteorological conditions, we found that the ACH of dwellings was more closely linked to wind speed than indoor–outdoor temperature difference, while the ACH of shelters was more affected by indoor–outdoor temperature and temperature differences inside the dwelling, particularly in dwellings with 3 or more stories.
Conference Paper
Conference code: 88515, Export Date: 4 October 2012, Source: Scopus, Language of Original Document: English, Correspondence Address: Santamouris, M.; University Athens, Panepistimioupolis, Athens, Greece; email: msantam@phys.uoa.gr, References: Franchi, M., Carrer, P., Kotzias, D., Rameckers, E.M.A.L., Seppanen, O., Van Bronswijk, J.E.M.H., Viegi, G., Valovirta, E., Working towards healthy air in dwellings in Europe (2006) Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 61 (7), pp. 864-868. , DOI 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2006.01106.x;, Sponsors: Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC)
Article
Cited By (since 1996): 12, Export Date: 4 October 2012, Source: Scopus, CODEN: BUEND, doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2007.01.006, Language of Original Document: English, Correspondence Address: Sfakianaki, A.; Department of Applied Physics, Physics Department, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Group Bldg. Environmental Research, Bldg. Physics 5, 15784 Athens, Greece, References: Sherman, M.H., Dickerhoff, D., Air tightness of US dwellings (1998) ASHRAE Transactions, 104 (2), pp. 1359-1367;
Article
Air change rate (ACR) data obtained from the bedrooms of 500 Danish children and presented in an earlier paper were analyzed in more detail. Questionnaires distributed to the families, home inspections and interviews with the parents provided information about a broad range of residential characteristics and occupant behavior. These were tested in several linear regression models to identify the degree of effect each selected independent variable has on the total ACR. The measured ACRs are summarized by some of the most significant variables such as room volume (higher ACR in smaller rooms), number of people sleeping in the bedroom (higher ACR with more people), average window and door opening habits (higher ACR with more opening), sharing the bedroom with other family members (higher ACR in shared rooms), location of the measured room (higher ACR above ground floor), year of construction (lowest ACR in buildings from early 1970s), observed condensation on the bedroom window (higher ACR at less condensation), etc. The best-fitting model explained 46% of the variability in the air change rates. Variables related to occupant behavior were stronger predictors of ventilation rate (model R2 = 0.30) than those related to building characteristics (model R2 = 0.09). Although not perfectly accurate on a room-to-room basis, our best-fitting model may be useful when a rough estimate of the average air change rate for larger study populations is required in future indoor air quality models.
Article
Abstract To investigate the effect of ventilation on indoor radon (222Rn), simultaneous measurements of radon concentrations and air change rates were made in 117 Danish naturally ventilated slab-on-grade houses built during the period 1984–1989. Radon measurements (based on CR-39 alpha-track detectors) and air change rate measurements (based on the perfluorocarbon tracer technique; PFT) were in the ranges 12–620 Bq m−3 and 0.16−0.96 h−1, respectively. Estimates of radon entry rates on the basis of such time-averaged results are presented and the associated uncertainty is discussed. It was found that differences in radon concentrations from one house to another are primarily caused by differences in radon entry rates whereas differences in air change rates are much less important (accounting for only 80,0% of the house-to-house variation). In spite of the large house-to-house variability of radon entry rates it was demonstrated, however, that natural ventilation does have a significant effect on the indoor radon concentration. Most importantly, it was found that the group of houses with an air change rate above the required level of 0.5 h−1 on average had an indoor radon concentration that was only 50% (0.5±0.1) of that of the group of houses with air change rates below 0.5 h−1. The reducing effect of increased natural ventilation on the indoor radon concentration was found to be due mainly to dilution of indoor air. No effect could be seen regarding reduced radon entry rates.
Article
The indoor air quality in several types of dwellings that were renovated to save energy for spatial heating has been investigated. Concentrations of pollutants were monitored in three rooms of inhabited houses. Data of the outside air and ventilation and infiltration were also collected. Relationships were established between observed concentrations and ventilation. In some cases concentrations show a good relationship with the calculated air change rate, in other cases this relationship was poor or absent.Elevated levels of pollutants could be related to sources in most cases. The ventilation behavior of the inhabitants has a major influence on the concentrations.From this and other studies it can be concluded that, in general, making dwellings more airtight leads to higher concentrations of pollutants. Deviations from health-related guidelines then become more likely.
Article
The purpose of the study was to gather information about the actual ventilation and indoor air quality and to evaluate the differences between houses and apartments with different ventilation systems. A sample of 242 dwellings in the Helsinki metropolitan area was studied over periods of no weeks during the 1988-1989 heating season. The mean air-exchange rates had a high variation (average 0.52 l/h, range 0.07-1.55 l/h). The ASHRAE minimum value of 0.35 l/h was not achieved in 28% of the dwellings. The air-exchange rates were significantly her in the houses than in the apartments (averages 0.45/0.64 l/h, p < 0.001); in the natural ventilation systems they, were slightly her than in the mechanical systems. The average temperature in the bedrooms was approximately 22 °C (range 18–27 °C), slightly but significantly higher in the apartment than in the houses. The average dust depositions were higher in the balanced ventilation systems than in the other systems. The median radon concentration was 82 Bq/m3 (range 5-866 Bq/m3); the Finnish target value of 200 Bq/m3 was exceeded in 17% of the houses but in none of the apartment. The measurements indicate that the indoor air quality in Finnish dwellings is not always satisfactory with reference to human health and comfort.
Article
Abstract The ventilation in Norwegian residences was studied with respect to the effect of new standards, construction techniques adopted, and energy conservation measures implemented. This was compared to residential ventilation performance in other countries with a similar climate. The effective total air change rate (h−1) in 344 residences was measured with a passive tracer gas method known as the perfluorocarbon tracer gas method (PFT-method). The measurements were performed over a 14-day integrated sampling period. Overall, 36% of all residences had lower air change rates than the national building code requirement of 0.5 h−1. In spite of similar construction techniques and building codes in the Nordic countries, Norwegian residences seem to be better ventilated in general than residences in other Nordic countries. However, the common belief of a gradual reduction of ventilation rates in Norwegian buildings as the date of construction becomes more recent is supported by our findings which show a linear reduction (slope β=−0.002, P < 0.05) of ventilation until the revision of the national building codes in 1987. Consequently, our results provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that the introduction of new building standards and construction techniques, and the implementation of energy conservation measures, have decreased the effective total air change rates in Norwegian residences until 1987.
Article
Background: An IgE-mediated contact reaction to airborne allergens has been suggested as one important pathogenetic mechanism in atopic dermatitis (AD). The house-dust mite (HDM) might be a common allergen involved. In Scandinavia, sensitization to HDM has been rare, probably because of the cold, dry climate. However, recent studies indicate high levels of domestic mites and HDM allergen in 15–20% of homes in central and northern Sweden. Methods: To evaluate the importance of the HDM in patients with AD in the Stockholm region, we screened 81 adult Stockholm residents with AD, for the prevalence and degree of sensitization to the HDM, according to specific IgE (RAST), skin prick test (SPT), and atopy patch test (APT). We also assessed the HDM exposure in their homes and correlated the results with clinical history, severity of the dermatitis, and type of residence during childhood and today. Results: The sensitization rate to HDM was high (56% according to RAST, 24% according to SPT, and 47% according to APT), and 20% of the patients were exposed to HDM allergens in their beds. Mite exposure seemed to aggravate the dermatitis in highly sensitized patients. Conclusions: The results indicate that we have to take the HDM into account when discussing aggravating factors in adult patients with AD in the Stockholm region.
Article
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the occurrence of symptoms and the perception of poor indoor air quality among the occupants of houses and apartments with different ventilation systems. The study population consisted of the 473 occupants of 242 dwellings in the Helsinki metropolitan area who responded to a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 93.1%) after a two-week period of indoor air quality measurements. The symptoms of interest were those often related to poor indoor air quality including dryness or itching of the skin; dryness, irritation or itching of the eyes; nasal congestion (“blocked nose”) nasal dry-ness; nasal discharge (“runny nose”); sneezing; cough; breathlessness; headache or migraine; and lethargy, weakness or nausea. Perception of coldness; warm-ness; draught; dryness; stuffiness; and sufficiency of air exchange was also requested. The age-standardized period prevalences of the symptoms and complaints were systematically more common among the occupants of the apartments than those of the houses. The occupants of the houses with natural ventilation seemed to have more symptoms and complaints than those with balanced ventilation. However, in the apartments with balanced ventilation the occupants reported, in general, more symptoms and complaints than those with natural ventilation.
Article
Buildings complying with the Passive House standard are rapidly spreading across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The underlying Passive House concept is based on a holistic approach, improving the building envelope to a degree that allows for substantial simplifications of the heating system. Passive Houses offer increased comfort at affordable costs while significantly reducing the energy consumption. The useful energy required for space heating has been reduced by ca. 80% compared with conventional (new) buildings. The overall primary energy consumption (including all services and electric appliances) has been reduced by more than 50%. Our paper introduces the Passive House standard and summarizes results of the EU project ‘Cost Efficient Passive Houses as European Standards’ (CEPHEUS) with respect to energy indices and comfort. Characteristics of the combined ventilation and heating system realized in many Passive Houses are presented in detail, including results of an expert working group at the Passive House Institute and on measurements and simulations conducted at EMPA. Chances and limitations of wood stoves as supplementary heat sources in Passive Houses are discussed shortly.
Article
A passive tracer gas method is applied to measure ventilation rates in a nation-wide indoor climate study of a statistical sample of the Swedish housing stock. The method and experimental design are described, together with the results and some experiences gained from the project. The evaluation and error analysis techniques are discussed from an example. Special attention is paid to the accuracy of the results and the probable causes and size of errors. It is shown that the ventilation flow rates could be estimated to an acceptable degree of accuracy. Distributions of ventilation rates in single- and multi-family buildings are presented and discussed. It is shown that actual ventilation rates in dwelling are generally low compared to the requirements in Sweden since 1975, especially in single-family houses. The average ventilation rate per occupant is however very similar in multi- and single-family buildings.
Article
The ongoing “Indoor Environment and Children’s Health” (IECH) study investigates the environmental risk factors in homes and their association with asthma and allergy among children aged 1–5 years. As part of the study, the homes of 500 children between 3 and 5 years of age were inspected. The selected children included 200 symptomatic children (cases) and 300 randomly selected children (bases). As part of the inspection, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the bedrooms of the children was continuously measured over an average of 2.5 days. The ventilation rates in the rooms during the nights when the children were sleeping in the room were calculated using a single-zone mass balance for the occupant-generated CO2. The calculated air change rates were log-normally distributed (R2 > 0.98). The geometric mean of the air change rates in both the case and the base group was 0.46 air changes per hour (h−1; geom. SD = 2.08 and 2.13, respectively). Approximately 57% of both cases and bases slept at a lower ventilation rate than the minimum required ventilation rate of 0.5 h−1 in new Danish dwellings. Only 32% of the bedrooms had an average CO2 concentration below 1000 ppm during the measured nights. Twenty-three percent of the rooms experienced at least a 20-minute period during the night when the CO2 concentration was above 2000 ppm and 6% of the rooms experienced concentrations above 3000 ppm. The average air change rate was higher with more people sleeping in the room. The air change rate did not change with the increasing outdoor temperature over the 10-week experimental period. The calculation method provides an estimate of the total airflow into the bedroom, including airflows both from outdoors and from adjacent spaces. To study the accuracy of the calculated air change rates and their deviation from the true outside air change rates, we calculated CO2 concentrations at different given air change rates using an indoor air quality and ventilation model (Contam). Subsequently we applied our calculation procedure to the obtained data. The air change rate calculated from the generated CO2 concentrations was found to be between 0% and 51% lower than the total air change rate defined in the input variables for the model. It was, however, higher than the true outside air change rate. The relative error depended on the position of the room in relation to the adjacent rooms, occupancy in the adjacent room, the nominal air change rate and room-to-room airflows.
Article
The present study has been conducted in the frame of BUMA (Prioritization of Building Materials Emissions as indoor pollution sources), a European funded project, aiming at assessing the exposure to emitted compounds in indoor air. Field campaigns in five (5) European cities (Milan, Copenhagen, Dublin, Athens and Nicosia) were carried out. These campaigns covered weekly winter and summer concentration measurements in two (2) public buildings and two (2) private houses in each city. BTEX, terpenes, and carbonyls were measured using passive sampling in two sites inside the building and one outside. VOC emission measurements on selected building material have also been performed using Field and Laboratory Emission Cell (FLEC). The results on indoor concentrations for compounds such as formaldehyde (1.2–62.6 μg m−3), acetaldehyde (0.7–41.6 μg m−3), toluene (0.9–163.5 μg m−3), xylenes (0.2–177.5 μg m−3) and acetone (2.8–308.8 μg m−3) have shown diversity and relatively significant indoor sources depending on the building type, age etc. Indoor concentrations of these substances are varied depending on the building age and type. The percentage of approximately 40% of the indoor air quality levels originated from building materials.