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Evaluating IAQ and Energy Impacts of Ventilation in a Net-Zero Energy House Using a Coupled Model



Lisa C. Ng, Dustin G. Poppendieck, William S. Dols, Steven J. Emmerich


The National Institute of Standards and Technology constructed the Net-Zero Energy (NZE) Residential Test Facility to support the development and adoption of cost-effective NZE designs and technologies. Source control approaches were implemented that minimized the use of products containing urea-formaldehyde resin and utilized products with relatively low volatile organic compound emissions. Indoor and outdoor concentrations of acetaldehyde were measured approximately monthly for two years to determine an average emission rate inside the house. Independent emission measurements of formaldehyde were made in a small chamber system to determine the emission rates from samples of the wood flooring, plywood, and wood cabinetry taken from the house. Blower door tests were performed to determine the leakage area of the exterior envelope, the interior floors, and transfer grilles between floors. Real-time formaldehyde concentration and energy measurements were used to verify the indoor concentrations and energy predictions of a coupled CONTAM-EnergyPlus model of the house. The verified model was then used to evaluate the impacts of different outdoor air ventilation rates on indoor concentrations and energy. This work demonstrate the need for consideration of source control options during product selection and for mechanical ventilation, especially in homes with relatively airtight envelopes.
Science and Technology for the Built Environment


Ng, L. , Poppendieck, D. , Dols, W. and Emmerich, S. (2017), Evaluating IAQ and Energy Impacts of Ventilation in a Net-Zero Energy House Using a Coupled Model, Science and Technology for the Built Environment, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created December 18, 2017, Updated December 19, 2017