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Estimating the air change rates in dwellings using a heat balance approach

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journal contribution
posted on 10.08.2015 by Paula Cosar-Jorda, Richard Buswell
Infiltration and ventilation rates in domestic buildings vary with construction type, weather conditions and the operation of openings in the fabric. Generating good estimates of ventilation is important for modelling, simulation and performance assessment as it has a significant impact on energy consumption. Physical tests can be applied to estimate leakage, but this is cumbersome and impractical to apply in most cases. This paper applies a heat balance approach to energy monitoring data to estimate a parameter that describes the combined ventilation and infiltration rates in real family homes. These estimates are compared with published values and a model is presented that describes the air change rate as a function of user behaviour (control of openings) and varying wind speed. The paper demonstrates that it is possible to estimate plausible air change rates from such data.


This work was produced under the LEEDR: Low Effort Energy Demand Reduction Project (EPSRC Grant Number EP/I000267/1), funded through the Research Councils UK’s Digital Economy and Energy programmes.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

6th International Building Physics Conference, IBPC 2015


COSAR-JORDA, P. and BUSWELL, R.A., 2015. Estimating the air change rates in dwellings using a heat balance approach. Energy Procedia, 78, pp.573-578


Elsevier / © The Authors


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (CC-BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/3.0/. It was also presented at the Proceedings of the 6th International Building Physics Conference, 14th-17th June 2015, Turin






Turin, Italy


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