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Spanish university research group, with experience in the field of indoor air quality (IAQ) and ventilation efficiency, is developing a methodology for mapping IAQ in European dwellings, in order to relate results with behavioural patterns, furniture, finishes, etc., and verify the influence of the outdoor air inside the dwellings. Partnerships sought are companies, universities or research institutes interested in collaborating under research cooperation agreements.
The Spanish research group has broad experience in many different aspect of air quality and ventilation:
• evaluating air quality and ventilation efficiency inside occupied spaces,
• analysing the impact of outdoor air with is supplied on the air change in indoor spaces,
• qualifying the impact of air infiltration and leakages in the natural ventilation process,
• studying new design proposals, systems, and equipment able to improve the buildings’ habitability conditions.
The laboratory has a test chamber for experimental tests with tracer gases used for the validation of numerical studies, equipment, and means for evaluating the dynamics and indoor/outdoor air quality, as well as the computer support of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) to perform simulations.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is key for human health, since people spend 90% of their time indoors, and approximately 50% inside their homes. Moreover, the importance of effective ventilation has recently been highlighted concerning bacteria and virus spread. There are mechanisms for detecting and controlling IAQ in public buildings. However, what happens inside homes is often unknown: sensors or control devices for pollutants cannot usually be found inside dwellings.
The research includes real-time monitoring of IAQ in dwellings, relating results with behavioural patterns, furniture, finishes, etc. The influence of the outdoor air inside the dwellings needs also to be verified since it is the usual air supply to dilute pollutants.
The simultaneous readings in the dwellings will be integrated through an application on mobile devices. In this way, it will be verified whether the natural ventilation rate (by opening windows or by air infiltrations) or mechanical ventilation is sufficient to guarantee minimum conditions of IAQ, and also the characteristic pollutants of these contexts, as a result of the finishes of dwellings, cleaning products used, particles, influence of the outdoor environment, etc. will be addressed.
Based on the characterization results, solutions will be evaluated and proposed in order to achieve good IAQ in dwellings. Energy-efficient and replicable solutions with reduced maintenance costs will be developed.
The team is looking for industrial or academic partners via research cooperation agreement. This type of collaboration include building a consortium to draw a proposal and participate in European funding programmes addressing IAQ in buildings.
The methodology developed will set the knowledge and basis to design strategies for the improvement of IAQ in dwellings, been key in:
- the design of new buildings
- the retrofitting of the existing ones.
- achieve an objective and real criteria according to ventilation design needs
- obtain a real-time monitoring of IAQ in dwellings
- integrate the simultaneous readings in the dwelling through a mobile app
- guarantee minimum conditions of IAQ
- characterization of the pollutants of each studied dwelling
- the evaluation of the solutions proposed in order to achieve good IAQ in dwellings
- the development of energy-efficient and replicable solutions with reduced maintenance cost
Industrial or academic partners with experience and interested in developing a project in the field of indoor air quality (IAQ) are sought to further co-develop the methodology and its applications in buildings.