UBC Graduate Research

Assessing the Ventilation Effectiveness and Indoor Air Quality of a Net-Zero Pilot House for Northern Communities Crosby, Sarah; Rogak, Steven


Maintaining indoor air quality, thermal comfort and adequate ventilation is essential for a healthy and efficient building. Therefore, the ventilation effectiveness is a critical issue that needs to be assessed to avoid unhealthy living conditions. In this work, the ventilation adequacy along with the thermal comfort are assessed in a green pilot house. This house is intended to achieve a cost effective design while maintaining high levels of livability and sustainability. Aiming to achieve a net zero design and an air tight passive house, this house is intended to address the needs for the Northern communities, where indoor humidity has produced famously unhealthy conditions. A novel experimental system is designed and constructed to assess the ventilation adequacy, thermal comfort and indoor air quality inside the house. The building envelope infiltration is also evaluated using air tightness tests. Tracer gas tests along with suitable data analysis algorithm are used for that matter. The results are compared to ASHRAE standards and the 3D contours of temperature fluctuations show that there are no major cold or hot spots in the living areas with relatively small temperature swings. The experimental results are showing strong agreement with the theory, the new experimental setup along with the tracer gas tests provided a powerful and satisfactory tool for measuring the ventilation effectiveness and for the thermal comfort assessment which will be helpful in future analytical and experimental studies in green buildings.

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