You are on page 1of 6


1. Introduction :-

1.1. What is Ventilation - Ventilation is the intentional introduction of ambient air into a space and
is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can
also be used for purposes of thermal comfort or dehumidification.

1.2. Basic elements of Ventilation - Building ventilation has three basic elements:

 Ventilation rate — the amount of outdoor air that is provided into the space, and the quality of
the outdoor .air
 Airflow direction — the overall airflow direction in a building, which should be from clean zones
to dirty zones; and
 Air distribution or airflow pattern — the external air should be delivered to each part of the
space in an efficient manner and the airborne pollutants generated in each part of the space
should also be removed in an efficient manner.

1.3. Problems

1.3.1. Indoor air quality – Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around
buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building
occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce
your risk of indoor health concerns.
Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or,
possibly, years later.
Immediate Effects - Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or
repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat,
headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
Long term Effects - Other health effects may show up after years of exposure or after
long or repeated period of exposure. These effects include some respiratory diseases,
heart disease and cancer can be severely fatal.

1.3.2. Humidity problems – High humidity causes health problems. When
relative humidity reaches a high enough level, the body's natural cooling system can't
work. Sweat evaporates very slowly and the body heats up, we feel hotter than it really is.
1.3.3. Ventilation requirements - From the view point of comfortable living & working
conditions, the good and efficient ventilation system should meet the following functional
 Air movements or Air Changes
 Temperature of Air
 Humidity
 Purity of Air
 Rate of supply of fresh air

2. Standards related to Ventilation of buildings (Ventilation Rate
Standards) :-

2.1. Introduction to Ventilation standards -
The ventilation rate, for CII buildings, is normally expressed by the volumetric
flow-rate of sub-aerial air, introduced to the building. The typical units used are cubic feet per
minute (CFM) or liters per second (L/s). The ventilation rate can also be expressed on per
person or per unit floor area basis, such as CFM/p or CFM/ft², or as air changes per hour (ACH).

2.2. CEN Standards for Ventilation of buildings – The calculation of influence of the ventilation
system on the energy performance of buildings is mainly related to the following standards:

EN ISO 13790: Energy performance of buildings - Calculation of energy use for space heating
and cooling
EN 15251: Indoor environmental input parameters for design and assessment of energy
performance of buildings - addressing indoor air quality, thermal environment, lighting and
EN 13779: Ventilation for non-residential buildings - Performance requirements for
ventilation and room-conditioning systems
EN 15241: Calculation methods for energy losses due to ventilation and infiltration
EN15242: Calculation methods for the determination of air flow rates in buildings including

2.2.1. Standards for residential buildings - For residential buildings, which mostly rely
on infiltration for meeting their ventilation needs, a common ventilation rate measure is
the air change rate (or air changes per hour): the hourly ventilation rate divided by the
volume of the space (I or ACH; units of 1/h). During the winter, ACH may range from 0.50
to 0.41 in a tightly air-sealed house to 1.11 to 1.47 in a loosely air-sealed house.

2.2.2. Standards for commercial buildings - The air within businesses can become stale from
moisture, odors, and pollutants that penetrate the building or are generated internally by
human activity and out gassing from building materials and furnishings. A steady supply of
fresh outdoor air can increase indoor air quality and improve occupant comfort.
Commercial buildings have had consistent building codes requiring a specific amount of
outdoor air to be ventilated in to the building. As envelope construction practice has
improved, the commercial building envelopes have become tighter, and the need to
control air quality has risen.
There are many new and innovative mechanical ventilation products available, that can
save energy, decrease utility bills, enhance thermal comfort, and improve indoor air
Examples- more stringent requirements for ventilation fans, pollution or moisture-
based source-point ventilation.

2.3. Development of ventilation rate standards –

In 1973, in response to the 1973 oil crisis and conservation concerns, ASHRAE Standards
62-73 and 62-81) reduced required ventilation from 10 CFM (4.76 L/S) per person to 5 CFM
(2.37 L/S) per person. This was found to be a contributing factor to sick building syndrome.

The 1989 ASHRAE standard (Standard 62-89) states that appropriate ventilation guidelines
are 20 CFM (9.2 L/s) per person in an office building, and 15 CFM (7.1 L/s) per person for
schools, while the 2004 Standard 62.1-2004 has lower recommendations again

Ventilation guidelines are based upon the minimum ventilation rate required to
maintain acceptable levels of bioeffluents. Carbon dioxide is used as a reference point, as it is
the gas of highest emission at a relatively constant value of 0.005 L/s.
The mass balance equation is:
Q = G/(Ci − Ca)
Q = ventilation rate (L/s)
G = CO2 generation rate
Ci = acceptable indoor CO2 concentration
Ca = ambient CO2 concentration

2.4. Methods for specifying required ventilation rates -
For the prescriptive procedure, a minimum ventilation rate per person
and a minimum ventilation rate per square metre floor area are required. The two ventilation
rates are then added. The person-related ventilation rate should take care of pollution emitted
from the person (odour and other bio effluents) and the ventilation rate based on the floor
area should cover emissions from the building, furnishing, HVAC system, etc.
The design outdoor airflow required in the breathing zone of the occupied space or spaces in a
zone, i.e., the breathing zone outdoor airflow (Vbz), is determined in accordance with the
Vbz = RpPz + RaAz
Az = Floor area;
Pz = Occupant density;
Rp = Outdoor airflow rate required per person;
Ra = Outdoor airflow rate required per unit floor area.

2.5. Ventilation effectiveness – The required ventilation rate at the room supply diffusers are
calculated as:

Total ventilation rate V = Vbz /ev

Vbz = breathing zone ventilation,
e? = Ventilation effectiveness

The ventilation effectiveness depends on the air distribution efficiency and the type and
position of the pollution source(s), so this value is not only a system characteristic. In most
cases it is assumed that the pollutant emission is uniform, so the ventilation effectiveness is the
same as the air distribution effectiveness. For a fully-mixed ventilation system the value is 1 .
The ventilation effectiveness or air distribution efficiency is a function of the position and type
of supply and return grills, and depends on the difference between supply and room
temperature and on the total amount of airflow through the supply grill. The air distribution
effectiveness can be calculated numerically or measured experimentally. For displacement and
personal ventilation the values may be higher than 1 ; but if warm air is supplied to a space the
values may be as low as 0.5.

3. Categories of Ventilation -

3.1. Natural Ventilation - refers to intentionally designed passive methods of introducing sub aerial
to a space without the use of mechanical systems.

3.2. Mechanical Ventilation - Mechanical ventilation refers to any system that uses mechanical
means, such as a fan, to introduce sub aerial air to a space. This includes positive pressure
ventilation, exhausts ventilation, and balanced systems that use both supply and exhaust

3.3. Exhaust Ventilation System - Exhaust ventilation systems work by depressurizing the building.
By reducing the inside air pressure below the outdoor air pressure, they extract indoor air from a
house while make-up air infiltrates through leaks in the building shell and through intentional,
passive vents.

Exhaust ventilation systems are most applicable in cold climates. In climates with warm, humid
summers, depressurization can draw moist air into building wall cavities, where it may condense
and cause moisture damage.

3.4 Supply ventilation System - Supply ventilation systems work by pressurizing the building. They
use a fan to force outside air into the building while air leaks out of the building through holes in
the shell, bath- and range-fan ducts, and intentional vents.

3.5. Mixed Mode (Hybrid) Ventilation System - Mixed mode ventilation (or hybrid ventilation)
systems use both natural and mechanical processes.

3.6. Infiltration - Infiltration is the uncontrolled flow of air from outdoors to indoors through leaks
(unplanned openings) in a building envelope. When a building design relies on environmentally
driven circumstantial infiltration to maintain indoor air quality, this flow has been referred to as
adventitious ventilation.

3.7 Balanced Ventilation System - Balanced ventilation systems, if properly designed and installed,
neither pressurize nor depressurize a house. Rather, they introduce and exhaust approximately
equal quantities of fresh outside air and polluted inside air, respectively. A balanced ventilation
system usually has two fans and two duct systems. It facilitates good distribution of fresh air by
placing supply and exhaust vents in appropriate places.

4. Summary –
The use of outdoor air for natural ventilation, combined with natural cooling techniques and
the use of daylight, have been essential elements of architecture since ancient times and up to the
first part of the 20th century. In recent times, natural ventilation has been largely replaced by
mechanical ventilation systems. However, mechanical ventilation also requires careful design, strict
equipment maintenance, adoption of rigorous standards and design guidelines that take into
consideration all aspects of indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency.

Natural and mechanical ventilation systems can be equally effective for infection control. However,
natural ventilation only works when natural forces are available, for example, winds or breezes, and
when inlet and exhaust apertures are kept open. On the other hand, the difficulties involved in
properly installing and maintaining a mechanical ventilation system may lead to a high
concentration of infectious droplet nuclei and ultimately result in an increased risk of disease
In existing health-care facilities with natural ventilation, this system should be maximized where
possible, before considering other ventilation systems. However, this depends on climatic conditions
being favorable for its use.