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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(11), 14132-14147; doi:10.3390/ijerph121114132

Indoor Environmental Quality in Mechanically Ventilated, Energy-Efficient Buildings vs. Conventional Buildings

1
Institute of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, Vienna 1090, Austria
2
Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building, Alserbachstraße 5, Vienna 1090, Austria
3
Institute of Sociology, University Vienna, Austria, Alserbachstraße 5, Vienna 1090, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gary Adamkiewicz and M. Patricia Fabian
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
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Abstract

Energy-efficient buildings need mechanical ventilation. However, there are concerns that inadequate mechanical ventilation may lead to impaired indoor air quality. Using a semi-experimental field study, we investigated if exposure of occupants of two types of buildings (mechanical vs. natural ventilation) differs with regard to indoor air pollutants and climate factors. We investigated living and bedrooms in 123 buildings (62 highly energy-efficient and 61 conventional buildings) built in the years 2010 to 2012 in Austria (mainly Vienna and Lower Austria). Measurements of indoor parameters (climate, chemical pollutants and biological contaminants) were conducted twice. In total, more than 3000 measurements were performed. Almost all indoor air quality and room climate parameters showed significantly better results in mechanically ventilated homes compared to those relying on ventilation from open windows and/or doors. This study does not support the hypothesis that occupants in mechanically ventilated low energy houses are exposed to lower indoor air quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy-efficient buildings; indoor air quality; measurements; mechanical ventilation; natural ventilation energy-efficient buildings; indoor air quality; measurements; mechanical ventilation; natural ventilation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wallner, P.; Munoz, U.; Tappler, P.; Wanka, A.; Kundi, M.; Shelton, J.F.; Hutter, H.-P. Indoor Environmental Quality in Mechanically Ventilated, Energy-Efficient Buildings vs. Conventional Buildings. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 14132-14147.

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