Improving indoor air quality using dynamic insulation and activated carbon in an air permeable ceiling

Mohd Firrdhaus Mohd Sahabuddin, Stirling Howieson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Indoor air pollution has proven negative impacts on the urban population in many developing countries. In Kuala Lumpur, high-rise housing programmes are not addressing IAQ and thermal comfort. As household incomes rise, residents are resorting to retro-fitting wall mounted split, air conditioning units; a strategy that is neither cost nor carbon effective. This paper reports on the results of computer modelling in conjunction with scale model trials (1:5) of a ‘Dynamic-Hybrid Air Permeable Ceiling’ (DHAPC) designed to filter, cool and dehumidify, the incoming air mass. This filter membrane, when combined with activated charcoal, reduced carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, benzene and particulate levels by up to 90%. These techniques now require to be replicated at 1:1 scale; however, the initial data suggest that such an approach, could make a major contribution to improving indoor air quality and thermal comfort with a much reduced carbon penalty. Practical application : Air pollution is now being recognised as having major negative impacts on public health. The use of insulation, as a large area and volume air filter, would appear to be a highly effective technique to reduce particulate matter, and when combined with activated charcoal that absorbs/adsorbs toxic gasses, can significantly improve indoor air quality in cities across the world that are presently exceeding WHO air quality guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Issue number4
Early online date21 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • indoor air quality (IAQ)
  • dynamic insulation
  • air permeable ceiling
  • activated carbon
  • high-rise housing


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