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Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 991; doi:10.3390/su8100991

Experimental Air-Tightness Analysis in Mediterranean Buildings after Windows Retrofit

1
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale (DIIn), Università degli Studi di Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II 132, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Meccanica (DICEM), Università di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, Via G. Di Blasio 43, 03043 Cassino, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale (DII), Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Piazzale Vincenzo Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francesco Asdrubali and Pietro Buzzini
Received: 8 June 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [378 KB, uploaded 30 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Energy saving and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in buildings are strongly affected by air leakages. Several studies reveal that the energy loss owing to leaky windows can account for up to 40% of the total building energy demand. Furthermore, at the design stage, the possible infiltration of outdoor air through windows is not taken into account when determining the nominal outdoor airflow rate of the ventilation system. This practice may result in an oversizing of the ventilation system and consequent energy waste. Thus, the air-tightness class of a wall assembly should be assessed for each window component considering the type of material, the presence of the seal, the type of closure, the sealing and the maintenance condition. In this paper, the authors present the experimental results of air-tightness measurements carried out using the fan pressurization method in three residential buildings located in the Mediterranean region before and after a window retrofit. Two different window retrofits were investigated: the application of rubber seals on window frames and the substitution of existing windows with new certified high performance windows. The effectiveness of such retrofits was estimated also in terms of energy saving. Test results demonstrated a high variability of the building air tightness after window retrofits, despite the fact that air tight–certified windows were used. View Full-Text
Keywords: air-tightness; building envelope; Indoor Air Quality; IAQ; energy saving; ventilation; building retrofit; fan pressurization test; window air-tightness; building envelope; Indoor Air Quality; IAQ; energy saving; ventilation; building retrofit; fan pressurization test; window
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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

d’Ambrosio Alfano, F.R.; Dell’Isola, M.; Ficco, G.; Palella, B.I.; Riccio, G. Experimental Air-Tightness Analysis in Mediterranean Buildings after Windows Retrofit. Sustainability 2016, 8, 991.

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