skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Building ventilation and indoor air quality

Abstract

Rising energy prices, among other factors, have generated an incentive to reduce ventilation rates and thereby reduce the cost of heating and cooling buildings. Reduced infiltration and ventilation in buildings may significantly increase exposure to indoor contaminants and perhaps have adverse effects on occupant health and comfort. Four indoor air contaminants - carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from gas appliances; formaldehyde from particleboard, plywood, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, and gas appliances; and radon from building materials, soil, and ground water - are currently receiving considerable attention in the context of potential health risks associated with reduced infiltration and ventilation rates. These air contaminants in conventional and energy efficient buildings were measured and analyzed with a view to assessing their potential health risks and various control strategies capable of lowering pollutant concentrations. Preliminary findings suggest that further intensive studies are needed in order to develop criteria for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality without compromising energy efficiency.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
California Univ., Berkeley (USA). Lawrence Berkeley Lab.
OSTI Identifier:
5506225
Report Number(s):
LBL-10391
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; BUILDINGS; INDOOR AIR POLLUTION; MONITORING; AIR QUALITY; BUILDING MATERIALS; CARBON MONOXIDE; DATA COMPILATION; ENERGY CONSERVATION; FORMALDEHYDE; NITROGEN DIOXIDE; RADON; SOILS; TABLES; VENTILATION; AIR POLLUTION; ALDEHYDES; CARBON COMPOUNDS; CARBON OXIDES; CHALCOGENIDES; DATA; DATA FORMS; ELEMENTS; ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; INFORMATION; MATERIALS; NITROGEN COMPOUNDS; NITROGEN OXIDES; NONMETALS; NUMERICAL DATA; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; POLLUTION; RARE GASES; 500200* - Environment, Atmospheric- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Hollowell, C.D., Berk, J.V., Boegel, M.L., Miksch, R.R., Nazaroff, W.W., and Traynor, G.W. Building ventilation and indoor air quality. United States: N. p., 1980. Web. doi:10.2172/5506225.
Hollowell, C.D., Berk, J.V., Boegel, M.L., Miksch, R.R., Nazaroff, W.W., & Traynor, G.W. Building ventilation and indoor air quality. United States. doi:10.2172/5506225.
Hollowell, C.D., Berk, J.V., Boegel, M.L., Miksch, R.R., Nazaroff, W.W., and Traynor, G.W. Tue . "Building ventilation and indoor air quality". United States. doi:10.2172/5506225. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5506225.
@article{osti_5506225,
title = {Building ventilation and indoor air quality},
author = {Hollowell, C.D. and Berk, J.V. and Boegel, M.L. and Miksch, R.R. and Nazaroff, W.W. and Traynor, G.W.},
abstractNote = {Rising energy prices, among other factors, have generated an incentive to reduce ventilation rates and thereby reduce the cost of heating and cooling buildings. Reduced infiltration and ventilation in buildings may significantly increase exposure to indoor contaminants and perhaps have adverse effects on occupant health and comfort. Four indoor air contaminants - carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from gas appliances; formaldehyde from particleboard, plywood, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, and gas appliances; and radon from building materials, soil, and ground water - are currently receiving considerable attention in the context of potential health risks associated with reduced infiltration and ventilation rates. These air contaminants in conventional and energy efficient buildings were measured and analyzed with a view to assessing their potential health risks and various control strategies capable of lowering pollutant concentrations. Preliminary findings suggest that further intensive studies are needed in order to develop criteria for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality without compromising energy efficiency.},
doi = {10.2172/5506225},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1980},
month = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1980}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Research includes characterization of the emission of various pollutant classes from their respective sources, study of the effectivness of ventilation in removing pollutants from indoor atmosphere, and examination of the nature and importance of chemical and physical reactions that can affect the occurrence and amount of airborne pollutants. The program has groups devoted specifically to three major pollutant classes: combustion products, arising from indoor appliances and other sources; radon and its daughters, arising from materials that contain radium, a naturally occurring radionuclide; and formaldehyde and other organics, arising from a variety of materials and furnishings. In addition, other groups studymore » techniques for controlling airborne concentrations, develop devices for monitoring pollutants in laboratories and buildings, and design or carry out field surveys of indoor air quality. Significant effort is also devoted to assessment of the health effects of indoor pollutants exposures. The core of these efforts consists of research on the behavior of indoor air pollutants, specifically the influence on airborne concentrations of three classes of factors: source strengths or emission rates, ventilation rates or effectiveness, and reaction and transformation mechanisms. The work carried out by the individual groups is primarily experimental, consisting of fundamental - and often quite sophisticated - experiments on pollutant emission, transport, and removal, complemented by significant efforts advancing the theoretical framework within which results maybe considered.« less
  • This is the second annual report on the research activities of the Building Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality (BV/IAQ) Program. The BV/IAQ Program, formed in FY 1977 has grown quite rapidly in response to the need for research on energy efficient building ventilation systems compatible with the health and comfort requirements of building occupants. The BV/IAQ Program is a major component of the Energy Efficient Buildings Program at LBL. This report is divided into three sections. The first section on the Ventilation Program, represents the major part of the BV/IAQ Program. The second section discusses the Indoor Air Quality research.more » The third section presents the activities of the Hospitals Program, a closely allied program within the Energy Efficient Buildings Program. The Hospitals Program, includes a large study on hospital ventilation requirements.« less
  • This guide is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee D-22 on Sampling and Analysis of Atmospheres and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee D22.05 on Indoor Air. Current edition approved Mar. 10, 1998. Published May 1998. Copyright American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA, 19428, USA. This document is available from NTIS under license from ASTM.
  • One way to reduce the energy impact of providing residential ventilation is to use passive and hybrid systems. However, these passive and hybrid (sometimes called mixed-mode) systems must still meet chronic and acute health standards for ventilation. This study uses a computer simulation approach to examine the energy and indoor air quality (IAQ) implications of passive and hybrid ventilation systems, in 16 California climate zones. Both uncontrolled and flow controlled passive stacks are assessed. A new hybrid ventilation system is outlined that uses an intelligent ventilation controller to minimise energy use, while ensuring chronic and acute IAQ standards are met.more » ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010 – the United States standard for residential ventilation - is used as the chronic standard, and exposure limits for PM 2.5, formaldehyde and NO 2 are used as the acute standards.The results show that controlled passive ventilation and hybrid ventilation can be used in homes to provide equivalent IAQ to continuous mechanical ventilation, for less use of energy.« less
  • Through mass-balance modeling of various ventilation scenarios that might satisfy the ASHRAE 62.1 Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Procedure, we estimate indoor concentrations of contaminants of concern (COCs) in California “big box” stores, compare estimates to available thresholds, and for selected scenarios estimate differences in energy consumption. Findings are intended to inform decisions on adding performance-based approaches to ventilation rate (VR) standards for commercial buildings. Using multi-zone mass-balance models and available contaminant source rates, we estimated concentrations of 34 COCs for multiple ventilation scenarios: VRmin (0.04 cfm/ft2 ), VRmax (0.24 cfm/ft2 ), and VRmid (0.14 cfm/ft2 ). We compared COC concentrationsmore » with available health, olfactory, and irritant thresholds. We estimated building energy consumption at different VRs using a previously developed EnergyPlus model. VRmax did control all contaminants adequately, but VRmin did not, and VRmid did so only marginally. Air cleaning and local ventilation near strong sources both showed promise. Higher VRs increased indoor concentrations of outdoor air pollutants. Lowering VRs in big box stores in California from VRmax to VRmid would reduce total energy use by an estimated 6.6% and energy costs by 2.5%. Reducing the required VRs in California’s big box stores could reduce energy use and costs, but poses challenges for health and comfort of occupants. Source removal, air cleaning, and local ventilation may be needed at reduced VRs, and even at current recommended VRs. Also, alternative ventilation strategies taking climate and season into account in ventilation schedules may provide greater energy cost savings than constant ventilation rates, while improving IAQ.« less