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11. – 15.3.2019 (Monday – Friday), Frankfurt am Main

Something in the air in a low energy house? Technical challenges for air-conditioning and ventilation technology

Source: NicoLeHe/pixelio.de

Source: NicoLeHe/pixelio.de

The National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, the Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy or the Climate Protection Action Plan 2020 – the objective that brings all these political initiatives together is to have buildings that are sustainable, energy-efficient or even climate neutral. Yet, this risks ignoring a factor significant for construction and for living: resident and user comfort. Ensuring a pleasant and healthy indoor environment in buildings that are practically air-tight is a much greater challenge. With insufficient exchange of air through cracks and joints, humidity and harmful substances, such as CO2 from the air we breathe or volatile organic compounds given off by furniture or carpets, no longer dissipate automatically.

At the same time people are spending more than 80 percent of their time in enclosed rooms – at home, in the office or at school. Environmental clinicians stress that indoor air quality is just as relevant to the development of chronic respiratory or heart and circulation diseases as is outdoor air. The temperature, humidity and CO2 content of indoor air are also critical in so far as they affect performance and the ability to concentrate of school pupils and workers. In a low energy house modern air-conditioning and ventilation systems are preventing that ‘something’ in the air. By creating the link between the criteria of energy-efficiency, comfort and indoor air quality they ensure a healthy and hygienic indoor environment.

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