From the overview of the state of the art, it is clear that the issues raised in the previous section can’t be solved directly from existing knowledge. Partial answers to each of these issues are available, but a new annex is needed to address the gaps and integrate the available solutions in a coherent and operable rating method.
International collaboration is a prerequisite for this effort since market access for innovative IAQ management strategies is currently blocked in many countries due to all kinds of prescriptive regulatory constraints. With the methods developed in the annex, we will be able to generate the necessary body of evidence to take regulatory action to overcome these barriers, generate consensus, open these markets and create a level playing field, which today is limited by very sparse and inconsistent approaches in the different member states.
Aim, Objectives and Scope
As mentioned above, the goal of this proposed annex is to work in an international collaboration to create an integrated general assessment method to operationalize the air quality approach suggested by IEA EBC Annex 9 to support the development, rating and implementation of innovative and highly energy efficient IAQ management strategies.
An IAQ management strategy is understood to be any coherent set of measures by a stakeholder in the building that aims to improve IAQ.
The annex proposal aims to improve the energy efficiency of the IAQ management strategies in operation and to improve their acceptability, control, installation quality and long-term reliability.
The Annex has the following specific key objectives:
- To select metrics to assess energy performance and indoor environmental quality of an IAQ management strategy and study their aggregation
- To improve the acceptability, control, installation quality and long-term reliability of IAQ management strategies by proposing specific metrics for these quality issues
- To set up a coherent rating method for IAQ management strategy that takes into account the selected metrics
- To identify or further develop the tools that will be needed to assist designers and managers of buildings in assessing the performance of an IAQ management strategy using the rating method
- To gather existing or provide new standardized input data for the rating method
- To study the potential use of smart materials as (an integral part of) an IAQ management strategy
- To develop specific IAQ management solutions for retrofitting existing buildings
- To benefit from recent advances in sensor technology and cloud-based data storage to systematically improve the quality of the implemented IAQ management strategies, ensure their operation and improve the quality of the rating method as well as the input data
- To improve the availability of these data sources by exploring use cases for their providers
- To disseminate about each of the above findings.
Relation to the EBC strategic plan 2019-2024
The proposed annex relates to the central mission put forward in the IEA EBC strategic plan 2019-2024 to support the acceleration of the transformation of the built environment towards more energy efficient and sustainable buildings and communities, by the development and dissemination of knowledge, technologies and processes and other solutions through international collaborative research and open innovation by reframing the existing highly prescriptive performance requirements for ventilation and explicitly choosing to operationalize the air quality approach to rating IAQ management strategies suggested by IEA EBC Annex 9. A fundamental hypothesis of the Annex is that this is necessary to facilitate the development of innovative and highly energy efficient solutions that optimize for energy performance and Indoor Air Quality in a concerted and balanced way to achieve the very ambitious targets in both areas.
The project relates to the following high priority research themes of the IEA EBC strategic plan 2019-2024:
The proposed annex contributes to the following strategic Objectives:
- reinforcing the technical and economic basis for refurbishment of buildings, financing, engagement of stakeholders and promotion of co-benefits
The proposed annex addresses the challenge to develop efficient and intelligent auditing, monitoring, benchmarking and diagnosis methods and tools covering the whole system including funding and the motivation of stakeholders or platforms that enhance the promotion of energy efficiency service provision and improve the continuous and accurate information to decision makers, in industry and policymaking by developing a rating method for the performance assessment of IAQ management strategies including metrics, tools, input data and monitoring strategies
- improvement of planning, construction and management processes to reduce the performance gap between design stage assessments and real-world operation
The proposed annex develops models and diagnostics for the rating of performance characteristics during design and for the guaranteed performance over the lifetime of the IAQ management strategy
- the creation of 'low tech', robust and affordable technologies
The proposed annex will develop a rating method to specifically examine robustness, occupant comfort and satisfaction with low tech IAQ management strategies. This method will allow to compare solutions and promote the use of smart controls and technologies to ensure robust performance without overcomplicating solutions. The method will also include a systematic monitoring and update mechanism based on smart data.
The proposed annex therefore also employs the following strategic Means to achieve these objectives:
- the creation of tools for supporting design and construction through to operations and maintenance, including building energy standards and life cycle analysis
- improving smart control of building services technical installations, including occupant and operator interfaces
- addressing data issues in buildings, including non-intrusive and secure data collection
The scope of the annex is focused on residential buildings because they represent the largest section of the building stock. They are also understudied and have the broadest range of (non-specific) uses. Additionally, residential building projects often lack the funds for extensive bespoke engineering and therefore require robust cost-effective standardized solutions that can be implemented at large scale.
For the study of specific IAQ management strategies we will mainly focus on the use of smart materials (materials that have an ability to actively or passively influence IAQ in the space) and smart ventilation (as defined by AIVC VIP nr. 38), since these are strategies that have a high energy efficiency potential. Air cleaners are already studied in a separate Annex 78 and are therefore not studied in detail in this annex.
Link with other ongoing IEA EBC Annexes
the ongoing activities of the AIVC and with interaction with annexes 78, 79, 81 and 82
- IEA EBC Annex V Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre.
Techniques for ventilation and its control are an integral part of the IAQ management strategies studied in the proposed Annex, and thus close links with and participation from experts who are also active in the AIVC will be needed. To ensure this close link in practice, INIVE, the operating agent of the AIVC will have a strong involvement inthe dissemination activities of the proposed annex, whereby a Memorandum of Understanding describes the collaboration.
- IEA EBC 78 Supplementing Ventilation with Gas-phase Air Cleaning, Implementation and Energy Implications.
This annex is focused on developing test methods and field tests for gas-phase air cleaners. The results from this annex on this type of IAQ management strategy and particularly how it can substitute or supplement ventilation is are important examples to include in the state of the art for the development of the general assessment framework in the proposed annex.
- IEA EBC Annex 79 Occupant-Centric Building Design and Operation.
Occupants and their activities are a major source of indoor pollution in residential buildings. Understanding the latest approaches to surveying, modeling and predicting occupant behaviour is therefore crucial for the development of the source and exposure modeling in this annex.
- IEA EBC Annex 81 Data-Driven Smart Buildings.
Similarly like with annex 79, understanding the latest developments on the IT support for building data will be crucial to the development of measuring and analysis methods to verify and update the general assessment framework using building data in the proposed annex.
- IEA EBC Annex 82 Energy Flexible Buildings Towards Resilient Low Carbon Energy Systems.
One outcome of IAQ performance assessment is that it can be traded off against other objectives, such as grid capacity. The assessment framework developed in the proposed annex will therefore provide quantified information on the flexibility of the energy demand of the studied IAQ management strategies and its constraints.
The way to cooperate with these Annexes will be by arranging common expert meetings, by concerted sessions at relevant conferences, and by personal or institutional overlap in the representation of experts in the projects.
The target audience can be categorised as 5 groups:
- designers and practitioners;
- policy makers or regulatory bodies; and
- residential construction sector, building owners and managers
- researchers and environmental health professionals
For policy makers and regulatory bodies, including standardization bodies, the outcomes of the annex will include a clear framework that allows them to assess the performance of smart ventilation and other IAQ management technologies, both in terms of energy efficiency and IAQ. This will allow them to avoid reverting to innovation blocking prescriptive requirements.
In addition to a rating method, the annex will provide the target audience with tools for the development, design and quality testing based on the performance and practical results of a proposed IAQ management strategy. With these tools, manufacturers and practitioners will be able to identify quality products and select the most appropriate systems for their applications and projects.
Building owners and occupants, facility managers, environmental health professionals and researchers not participating in the annex are secondary stakeholders for the proposed annex
By mapping the existing work on the pollution sources in residential context (including occupant activities and the penetration of outdoor pollution), we want to develop a consistent set of metrics that allows us to assess the performance of the various technologies in terms of energy efficiency, comfort and health for the occupants. This includes extending the framework developed in Annex 68 with specific metrics for energy efficiency and particulate matter, explicitly including moisture control and HVAC component modeling as well as creating a common methodology for IAQ data sharing among smart devices. By pooling and analyzing the data, the range of conditions in dwellings can be better understood and the most appropriate energy efficient IAQ management strategies can be identified. The application of the metrics over time will also allow continuous commissioning to ensure that the predicted energy efficiency is actually maintained over the lifetime of the system. Another advantage is the possibility of conveying the information towards building occupants, building operators and facility managers in a coherent way. Ensuring performance over the lifetime of the system, however, requires continuous commissioning of the technical components of the system as well to prevent deterioration of the performance.
These activities will be structured in 6 subtasks as described below.
A range of methods will be used to accomplish the work in this annex, ranging from literature review to experimental lab work. There will be face to face consent workshops, for the development of the rating method. There will also be a considerable amount of numerical modeling to compare system options in identical conditions.
The general research strategy of the annex is cyclical consent building. The 6 subtasks proceed in parallel, each with their specific work plan, methods and goals, but yet coordinate closely where needed to achieve the overall goal of the Annex. Although the subtasks work largely in parallel, their work is closely interconnected, with the results from the different tasks feeding into the work of others. This requires an iterative process of interaction with the whole group. Contributing from their own activities, the subtasks work together towards a set of 4 common deliverables. The 6-monthly meetings (in person or via internet) are used to exchange status across the different subtasks and monitor the overall convergence of the work. At the end of these meetings, the work plans for the next 6 months are discussed in plenary and updated based on the latest findings in the other subtasks.