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Quantifying the Impact of Housing Interventions on Indoor Air Quality And Energy Consumption Using Coupled Simulation Models

Published

Author(s)

Lindsay J. Underhill, William Stuart Dols, Sharon Lee, M. P. Fabian, Jonathan I. Levy

Abstract

While residential energy and ventilation standards aim to improve the energy performance and indoor air quality (IAQ) of homes, their combined impact across diverse residential activities and housing environments has not been well-established. In this study, we demonstrate the insights that a novel coupled IAQ-energy modeling approach can provide regarding the energy and IAQ trade-offs of weatherization and ventilation retrofits in multifamily housing across varied indoor occupant activity and ventilation scenarios in Boston, MA. Overall, we found that combined weatherization and improved ventilation recommended by building standards could lead to both energy savings and IAQ-related benefits; however, ventilation standards may not be sufficient to protect against IAQ disbenefits for residents with strong indoor sources (e.g. heavy cooking or smoking) and may also lead to net increases in energy costs (e.g. due to addition of continuous outdoor air supply ventilation). Our modeling platform is flexible and can be applied to a wide range of building typologies, retrofits, climates, and indoor occupant activity scenarios; therefore, it stands as a valuable tool for identifying cost-effective interventions that meet building standards and improve IAQ across diverse housing populations.
Citation
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology

Keywords

energy, indoor air quality, modeling, residential buildings, retrofit

Citation

Underhill, L. , Dols, W. , Lee, S. , Fabian, M. and Levy, J. (2020), Quantifying the Impact of Housing Interventions on Indoor Air Quality And Energy Consumption Using Coupled Simulation Models, Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created January 20, 2020, Updated March 15, 2024