UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Developing improved methods for measurement of ventilation rates in occupied dwellings

Ventilation is important in buildings for reasons of indoor air quality and thermal comfort. However, it accounts for a significant proportion of the space heating energy demand in dwellings. As airtightness of the envelope is improved to reduce energy wastage, it is of increasing importance that the dedicated ventilation systems installed operate effectively. Little empirical measurement of ventilation during occupation has been conducted, mainly due to the cost and difficulty associated with current tracer gas methods that have seen little development over the last two decades.

This project looks at how tracer gas ventilation measurement approaches for occupied dwellings can be improved: using alternate methods; using advancements in sensors & electronics; whilst remaining cost effective, robust and non-intrusive.

Following a literature review of existing ventilation measurement approaches and available equipment, the project theoretically models the performance of numerous tracer gas methods, with subsequent physical testing in both controlled laboratory conditions and the deployment scenario of occupied dwellings. A small number of case studies based on methods developed will be carried out, using existing standardised tracer gas methods in parallel to facilitate comparison of results.