Performance-Based IAQ and Optimized Ventilation

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Lead Performer: Southface Energy Institute – Atlanta, GA
Partners:
-- Underwriters Laboratory – Washington, DC
-- LG Squared – Atlanta, GA
-- Venmar – Quebec, Canada
-- Illinois Sustainable Technology Center – Champaign, IL
-- Beazer Homes – Atlanta, GA
DOE Total Funding:  $661,000
Cost Share:  $214,000
Project Term: October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2018
Funding Opportunity: 2016 Building America Industry Partnerships for High Performance Housing Innovation

Project Objective

Southface Energy Institute and partners will develop and validate a performance-based indoor air quality (IAQ) assessment protocol for homes. To support its IAQ assessment protocol, Southface Energy Institute and partners will develop and calibrate low-cost IAQ sensor packages for indoor contaminants like PM2.5, NO2, O3, radon, and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde. This project will also validate a new IAQ score—currently under development by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab—by benchmarking more than 80 new and existing homes using the IAQ assessment protocol developed earlier in the project. This study will also field-test a new “smart” energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system under real-world conditions, to evaluate its ability to improve a home’s IAQ and comfort while reducing the energy required for ventilation and dehumidification.

Project Impact

The IAQ assessment protocol and smart ERV solution will achieve annual HVAC energy cost savings of approximately $100 compared to central fan integrated supply system, as well as a 50% reduction in ventilation-related latent loads compared to supply or exhaust ventilation strategies. This technology will contribute to overcoming homebuilder reluctance around airtightness and ventilation strategies, enabling energy savings from tight construction in hot and humid climates while reducing IAQ risks and improving comfort.

Contacts

DOE Technology Manager: Eric Werling
Principal Investigator: Dr. Sydney Roberts, Southface Energy Institute

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