In southern Europe, the present stock of social housing is ventilated naturally, with practice varying in the different seasons of the year. In winter, windows are kept closed most of the day with the exception of short periods for ventilation, whereas the rest of the year the windows are almost permanently open. In cold weather, air changes depend primarily on the air infiltrating across the envelope and when the temperature is warm, on the air flowing in through open windows. CO2
, and TVOC concentration patterns were gathered over a year’s time in three social housing developments in southern Europe with different airtightness conditions and analyzed to determine possible relationships between environmental parameters and occupants’ use profiles. Correlations were found between TVOC and CO2
concentrations, for human activity was identified as the primary source of indoor contaminants: peak TVOC concentrations were related to specific household activities such as cooking or leisure. Indoor and outdoor PM2.5
concentrations were likewise observed to be correlated, although not linearly due to the presence of indoor sources. Ventilation as presently practiced in winter appears to be insufficient to dilute indoor contaminants in all three buildings, nor does summertime behavior guarantee air quality.
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