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    Analysis of Air Change Rates in Swedish Residential Buildings

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    Measurements of the rate of air exchange in residential buildings have been carried out by the Swedish Institute for Building Research since 1970. The results of an analysis of these measurements are presented in this paper for about 500 buildings not having mechanical ventilation.

    The studied buildings include one- and two-story, detached, single-family houses, row houses, and multifamily residential buildings built between 1900 and 1982 and of various design. In some cases, the buildings have been retrofitted by improving the insulation of the attic or the exterior walls. The building sites vary from freely exposed to a sheltered urban environment.

    Tracer gas measurements using the decay technique have been used for the determination of the rate of air exchange. In about 300 cases, the measurement of air change rates has been complemented by measurements using pressurization techniques. Data on 50 other parameters also have been collected. These parameters describe the building geometry, the building design, and the meteorological conditions at the time of measurement. The measurements have been performed with the outdoor temperature varying from −15 to +25°C and for wind speeds from 0 to 10 m/s.

    The calculation model used for the analysis includes two dimensionless variables and two parameters. The dependent variable is given by the measured air change rate and the geometric properties of the building, while the other variable is defined as the ratio of the aeromotive force to the buoyancy force. The two parameters of the model represent the degree of wind shelter and the leakage area of the building, respectively.

    For the analysis, the buildings have been divided into classes according to the building environment, the year of construction, and the type of building.


    air change rate, infiltration model, leakage area, pressure coefficient, pressurization, tracer gas

    Author Information:

    Boman, CA
    Research officer and project manager, The Swedish Institute for Building Research, Gävle,

    Lyberg, MD
    Research officer and project manager, The Swedish Institute for Building Research, Gävle,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E06.41

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19660S