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Title: Ventilation rates and health


No abstract prepared.

; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Building Technologies Program; this review was supported with a grant from the Finnish Academy, preparation of this summary article was supported by the California Institute for Energy Efficiency (CIEE) using support from Southern California Edison (SCE) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0001-2491; ASHRAA; R&D Project: 474508; B& R EC0903000; TRN: US200302%%342
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: ASHRAE Journal; Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: Journal Publication Date: August 2002; PBD: 1 Aug 2002
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Seppanen, Olli, Fisk, William J., and Mendell, Mark J. Ventilation rates and health. United States: N. p., 2002. Web.
Seppanen, Olli, Fisk, William J., & Mendell, Mark J. Ventilation rates and health. United States.
Seppanen, Olli, Fisk, William J., and Mendell, Mark J. 2002. "Ventilation rates and health". United States. doi:.
title = {Ventilation rates and health},
author = {Seppanen, Olli and Fisk, William J. and Mendell, Mark J.},
abstractNote = {No abstract prepared.},
doi = {},
journal = {ASHRAE Journal},
number = 8,
volume = 44,
place = {United States},
year = 2002,
month = 8
  • This paper provides quantitative estimates of benefits and costs of providing different amounts of outdoor air ventilation in U.S. offices. For four scenarios that modify ventilation rates, we estimated changes in sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms, work performance, short-term absence, and building energy consumption. The estimated annual economic benefits were $13 billion from increasing minimum ventilation rates (VRs) from 8 to 10 L/s per person, $38 billion from increasing minimum VRs from 8 to 15 L/s per person, and $33 billion from increasing VRs by adding outdoor air economizers for the 50% of the office floor area that currently lacksmore » economizers. The estimated $0.04 billion in annual energy-related benefits of decreasing minimum VRs from 8 to 6.5 L/s per person are very small compared to the projected annual costs of $12 billion. Benefits of increasing minimum VRs far exceeded energy costs while adding economizers yielded health, performance, and absence benefits with energy savings.« less
  • Arbitrary changes to codes and standards that could jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of building occupants are being proposed in the name of energy conservation. Many factors can influence indoor air quality. If sufficient ventilation rates to meet foreseeable variabilities are not prescribed, the resultant low level of indoor air quality could be deleterious to health; but if sufficient ventilation rates are prescribed to meet all contingencies, the energy requirements for thermal control will be excessive. An ASHRAE standards committee is revising codes for natural and mechanical ventilation. Concerns about indoor air quality are discussed. (3 graphs, 22 references,more » 4 tables)« less
  • No abstract prepared.
  • Measurements of indoor air pollutants were taken in (1) an air conditioned and (2) an adjacent, naturally ventilated office of a public sector organization. Self-administered questionnaires on the work environment and health were distributed to all workers. No differences in concentrations of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, and total oxidants were found between buildings. Concentrations of formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, and respirable particulates were higher in the air conditioned offices. Symptoms of sleepiness, nasal irritation, concentration difficulties, cold/flu-like symptoms, and eye focusing problems were significantly more prevalent in the air conditioned offices. In the air conditioned offices, most symptoms weremore » significantly more prevalent among women than men. Passive smoking was associated with symptom prevalence, but alcohol, tea, and coffee consumption was unrelated. No significant correlations between pollutant concentrations and symptom prevalence were found, however, recalled reports of leaving work early because of feeling ill were significantly correlated with formaldehyde levels in the air conditioned building.« less