‘Indoor air quality in sustainable, energy efficient buildings’ is the article by Andrew K. Persily and Steven J. Emmerich. The article is devoted to the problem of the indoor air quality. The authors focused their attention on the energy-efficient approach of its achievement.
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The background of the article
The energy efficiency is the urgent problem nowadays. The engineers and contractors have paid a particular attention on this problem since 1970s. At that period, the mankind faced the keen energy supply problems. The energy inefficiency is a burden for the economic development. In addition, it results in the environmental pollution.
The wide discussions of the problem encouraged the construction companies searching for new materials and technologies. “Some discussions of net-zero energy buildings also speak to the need for high performance, which generally includes a range of non-energy performance attributes, such as indoor air quality (IAQ)” (Persily & Emmerich 2012, p.5).
The indoor air quality system as a building technology of new generation
The indoor air quality (IAQ) systems play a crucial role in the maintenance of the proper ventilation of the premises. The systems are aimed at regulating the quality of the air which is important for the people’s health. The poor IAQ systems may lead to the serious diseases including the lung cancer, carbon monoxide poisoning, and Legionnaires’ disease (Persily & Emmerich 2012). There are a number of IAQ systems performance assessment tests.
These tests evaluate the effectiveness of the system. However, the authors of the article mention that these tests “do not address health impacts, particularly from contaminants that are not perceived at low concentrations or for which the health outcomes occur long after exposure” (Persily & Emmerich 2012, p.5).
The authors focus on the relationship between the IAQ and the energy efficiency of the building (Persily & Emmerich 2012). They emphasize that the outdoor air ventilation is the area linking both of them (Persily & Emmerich 2012).
The evaluation of the energy efficiency strategies
The authors evaluated certain energy efficiency strategies including the reduced outdoor air ventilation rates, increased thermal insulation, and cooling equipment efficiency increases (Persily & Emmerich 2012). According to their evaluation, the first strategy leads to the increase in the concentration of the contaminants (Persily & Emmerich 2012).
The second strategy may lead to the biological growth as it is connected with the increase in the condensation of the building envelopes (Persily & Emmerich 2012). The last strategy may also result in the biological growth as it has a high probability of the increase in the indoor humidity levels (Persily & Emmerich 2012).
Strategies supporting the iaq and the energy efficiency
The authors of the article have suggested the strategies which are able to support the IAQ and the energy efficiency of the building (Persily & Emmerich 2012).
In particular, they suggest the heat recovery ventilation, demand controlled ventilation, economizer operation, dedicated outdoor air system, displacement ventilation, task ventilation, natural/hybrid ventilation, envelope and air distribution systems tightness, more efficient particle filtration, gaseous air cleaning, source control and low ventilation, and Q&M re-commissioning (Persily & Emmerich 2012). The authors enumerate the main effects of these strategies and briefly describe the way they work.
The authors make a conclusion that some of the main challenges for creating the energy efficient IAQ system are hot and humid climates (Persily & Emmerich 2012). Furthermore, the poor outdoor air quality can result in the IAQ inefficiency (Persily & Emmerich 2012).
The authors of the article state that the design of the building is the primary determinant of the energy efficient IAQ. “High-performance buildings should provide better IAQ conditions than exist in current buildings, and there are many strategies for doing so that will not necessarily conflict with energy efficiency” (Persily & Emmerich 2012, p. 19).
In order to sum up all above mentioned, it should be said that the article ‘Indoor air quality in sustainable, energy efficient buildings’ by Andrew K. Persily and Steven J. Emmerich reflects the newest tendencies in the building construction. The authors of the article have touched upon the problem of the indoor air quality.
They put a particular emphasis on the relationship of the IAQ system and the energy efficiency. A number of strategies for the realization of the energy efficiency and the maintenance of the IAQ system have been suggested by the authors.
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Persily, A. K. & Emmerich, S. 2012, ‘Indoor air quality in sustainable, energy efficient buildings’, HVAC&R Research, vol. 18. no. 1-2, pp. 4-20.