Indoor air quality assessment of Latin America's first Passivhaus home

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Sustainable building design, such as the Passivhaus standard, seeks to minimise energy consumption, while improving indoor environmental comfort. Very few studies have studied the indoor air quality (IAQ) in Passivhaus homes outside of Europe. This paper presents the indoor particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon dioxide (CO2), and total volatile organic compounds (tVOC) measurements of the first residential Passivhaus in Latin America. It compares them to a standard home in Mexico City. Low-cost monitors were installed in the bedroom, living room, and kitchen spaces of both homes, to collect data at five-minute intervals for one year. The physical measurements from each home were also compared to the occupants’ IAQ perceptions. The measurements demonstrated that the Passivhaus CO2 and tVOC annual average levels were 143.8 ppm and 81.47 μg/m3 lower than the standard home. The PM2.5 in the Passivhaus was 11.13 μg/m3 lower than the standard home and 5.75 μg/m3 lower than outdoors. While the results presented here cannot be generalised, the results suggest that Passivhaus dwellings can provide better and healthier indoor air quality in Latin America. Further, large-scale studies should look at the indoor environmental conditions, energy performance, and dwelling design of Passivhaus dwellings in Latin America.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1477
Number of pages18
Issue number11
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2021


  • passivhaus
  • indoor air quality
  • IAQ
  • Latin America
  • ; particulate matter (PM2.5)
  • carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • total volatile organic compounds (tVOC)


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