Energy Aspects

What is the energy impact of building and ductwork airtightness?

The implementation of the EPBD recast puts increasing pressure to achieve better building and ductwork airtightness since for most European climates and countries, good airtightness levels are necessary to achieve nearly zero-energy buildings. This has been shown in a number of studies with energy impacts of the order of 10 kWh per m2 of floor area per year for the heating needs in a moderately cold region (2 500 degree-days) and 0 to 5 kWh/m2/year for the ducts plus the additional fan energy use [1]. For more information see also the ASIEPI project technical report on building and ductwork airtightness as well as REHVA journals’ special issue on airtightness [2].


[1] G. Guyot, F. R. Carrié and P. Schild, “Project ASIEPI – Stimulation of good building and ductwork airtightness through EPBD,” 2010.

[2] R. Coxon, “Research into the effect of improving airtightness in a typical UK dwelling,” The REHVA European HVAC Journal-Special issue on airtightness, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 24-27, 2013.

Is there experimental data showing the energy savings of good building airtightness?

Yes. The Building Research Establishment in the UK has published an experimental study showing energy savings achievable with improved airtightness [1,2].

[1] R. Coxon, “Research into the effect of improving airtightness in a typical UK dwelling,” The REHVA European HVAC Journal-Special issue on airtightness, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 24-27, 2013.

[2] D. Butler and A. Perry, “Co-heating Tests on BRE Test Houses Before and After Remedial Air Sealing,” Building Research Establishment.

What is the impact of duct leakage on comfort, ventilation, indoor air quality and fire security?

Duct leakage is not only detrimental to energy efficiency, but also indoor air quality (in terms of lower air change rates and ventilation efficiency in rooms), comfort, and fire protection. It is often accompanied by other problems, such as inferior commissioning and cleaning. In Scandinavia good ductwork airtightness has largely been promoted together with indoor air quality benefits. Note that the Swedish VVS AMA guideline not only deals with energy issues related to duct airtightness but also with safety and indoor environment. [1]

[1] G. Guyot, F. R. Carrié and P. Schild, “Project ASIEPI – Stimulation of good building and ductwork airtightness through EPBD,” 2010.

 

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