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Publication Citation: The IAQ and Energy Impacts of Reducing Formaldehyde Emissions in Commercial Building

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Author(s): Lisa C. Ng; Andrew K. Persily; Steven J. Emmerich; Kevin Y. Teichman;
Title: The IAQ and Energy Impacts of Reducing Formaldehyde Emissions in Commercial Building
Published: February 11, 2014
Abstract: Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings are designed to provide thermally comfortable conditions and to maintain acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ). At the same time, the operating costs of HVAC systems are often a large percentage of the total energy consumption of buildings, which constitutes 40 % of the primary energy consumed in the U.S. As efforts are pursued to reduce building energy use, some of which may include reductions in outdoor air ventilation rates, it is even more important to consider the impacts of these measures on IAQ. While IAQ involves many different contaminants and sources, formaldehyde is of particular importance given its wide use in the production of composite wood products, such as those used in manufacturing furniture. Also, based on the health effects of exposure to formaldehyde, California has regulations on emissions from composite wood products, and federal regulations are expected in 2013. To better understand the IAQ and energy trade-offs of various approaches to reducing indoor formaldehyde concentrations, a series of simulations was performed using the multizone airflow model, CONTAM, in two low-energy commercial reference buildings developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. Annual airflow and contaminant simulations were performed using assumed emission rates of formaldehyde in these buildings. The impact of low-emitting materials and changes in ventilation rates on formaldehyde concentrations and energy use were evaluated to investigate how both low-energy and IAQ goals can be met.
Proceedings: ASHRAE IAQ 2013
Location: Vancounver, -1
Dates: October 15-18, 2013
Keywords: commercial buildings, energy, emissions, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, ventilation
Research Areas: Indoor Air Quality, Building and Fire Research
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (357KB)