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Over the last few years, increasing attention has been paid to the problem of indoor air pollution and especially critical indoor formaldehyde concentrations. Some recent developments in the building's interior systems and components (new materials, new furniture elements, and so forth) combined with some features of modern construction technology (for example, air-tight windows and envelopes), has aggravated the risk of potentially hazardous pollutant concentrations. As a practical contribution to the solution of the problem of formaldehyde concentration in Austrian residential buildings, a computer-aided model was developed to simulate the processes of formaldehyde emission and concentration in indoor air. Using this interactive model, the effective concentrations of formaldehyde can be simulated and represented for a variety of input data (emission sources, temperature, relative humidity, air exchange rates, and so forth). This model can be used by building owners, managers, designers, and occupants. To gather the necessary empirical data, a diagnostic unit was constructed to test a number of commonly applied products in the Austrian building market (mainly furniture elements and particle boards).
formaldehyde concentration, residential buildings, particle boards, HCHO-emission and absorption test-box, fixed sources and emitters, formaldehyde mass balance
Professor, Institut für Hochbau, Technische Universität Wien, Vienna,
Associate professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, Pittsburgh, PA