Modelling indoor environmental quality in low energy housing

Maria del Carmen Bocanegra-Yanez, Paul Strachan, Chris Morgan, Tim Sharpe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


The aim of this paper is to assess the impact that pollutant sources and ventilation strategies have on thermal comfort levels and indoor air quality (IAQ) in low energy houses through a case study using the detailed thermal simulation program, ESP-r. CO2 is commonly used as a proxy for IAQ, but a novelty of this research is the integrated analysis of distribution for other pollutants, specifically formaldehyde. A model was created based on monitored data from a low energy house. Acceptance criteria for calibrating the model were defined, addressing the current absence of specific guidelines for model calibration based on the monitored indoor environment. Then, a review of current literature of indoor pollutants was undertaken and three time-dependent models were implemented in ESP-r to model formaldehyde emissions. Different scenarios were defined to investigate specific design questions and common ventilation issues regarding the indoor environmental quality (IEQ). The results demonstrate that detailed modelling and simulation can predict IEQ issues and help to design ventilation strategies in low energy houses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding Simulation 2017
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2017
EventBuilding Simulation 2017: The 15th Biennial Conference of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) - Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, San Fransisco, United States
Duration: 7 Aug 20179 Aug 2017
Conference number: 15


ConferenceBuilding Simulation 2017
Abbreviated titleBS17
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Fransisco
Internet address


  • building performance evaluation (BPE)
  • energy
  • ventilation
  • modelling


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