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Case 1

Ventilation in Manufactured Houses

[Persily, A. K. and S. R. Martin (2000)]

The HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (Part 3280, 1994) contain requirements intended to provide adequate levels of outdoor air ventilation in manufactured homes. In the implementation of these standards, questions have arisen regarding the impact and significance of some of these requirements. Some of these questions relate to the actual ventilation rates in homes built to the standards and the means of providing supplemental mechanical ventilation to meet the requirements of the standards. Other questions have arisen as to how specific ventilation system components such as duct leakage, local exhaust fans and ventilation inlets affect ventilation rates, air movement patterns, and building pressures. In order to obtain some insight into these issues, the multizone airflow and indoor air quality program CONTAM was used to simulate a double-wide unit under several different ventilation scenarios. These scenarios include envelope infiltration only, infiltration plus the effects of local exhaust and forced-fan operation, an outdoor air intake duct installed on the forced-air return, and whole house exhaust with and without passive inlet vents. Simulations were performed to predict outdoor air ventilation rates into the house due to infiltration and mechanical ventilation, inter-zone airflow rates between the rooms, building air pressures, and ventilation air distribution. Annual simulations were performed in three cities to assess ventilation rates and energy consumption associated with these scenarios. The results show that despite the assumption in the HUD standards that infiltration contributes 0.25 h-1, the predicted infiltration rates are lower than this value for many hours of the year. The supplemental ventilation systems investigated in this study provide ventilation rates that meet or exceed the total ventilation requirement of 0.35 h-1, but the impacts of such systems are dependent on their operating schedules. In addition, in these simulations, the impacts of a whole house exhaust fan are independent of whether this fan is located in the main living area or in a bathroom off the main living area. Also, for the case of ventilation with a whole house exhaust fan, the inclusion of passive inlet vents is not critical given the level of envelope air tightness used in these simulations. The results of these simulations are presented and discussed, and recommendations are made for changes to the HUD standards and for future research.

Created March 7, 2018, Updated February 13, 2020