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Title: Technology Solutions Case Study: Selecting Ventilation Systems for Existing Homes

In multifamily buildings, particularly in the Northeast, exhaust ventilation strategies are the norm as a means of meeting both local exhaust and whole-unit mechanical ventilation rates. The issue of where the "fresh" air is coming from is gaining significance as air-tightness standards for enclosures become more stringent, and the normal leakage paths through the building envelope disappear. Researchers from the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) found that the majority of high performance, new construction, multifamily housing in the Northeast use one of four general strategies for ventilation: continuous exhaust only with no designated supply or make-up air source, continuous exhaust with ducted make-up air to apartments, continuous exhaust with supply through a make-up air device integral to the unit HVAC, and continuous exhaust with supply through a passive inlet device, such as a trickle vent. Insufficient information is available to designers on how these various systems are best applied. In this project, the CARB team evaluated the four different strategies for providing make-up air to multifamily residential buildings and developed guidelines to help contractors and building owners choose the best ventilation systems.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Research Org:
Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B) (Building America)
Country of Publication:
United States
residential; Residential Buildings; CARB II; Building America; exhaust ventilation; multifamily, PTAC; make-up air, trickle vents; mechanical ventilation; whole-house ventilation; passive inlet devices; apartments; Northeast; cold climate; ducted supply ventilation​