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Hermann-Rietschel-InstitutEnOB: MinInfekt



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EnOB: MinInfekt

Project details
Project term
March 2021 to February 2023
Funding code
Project management
Claudia Kopic

For health and hygiene reasons in buildings, a sufficient supply of fresh air must be ensured in order to significantly reduce viral contamination in the air. This is in addition to a ventilation system’s fundamental task of reducing the CO2 and pollutant concentration in a room and preventing microbiological growth due to high indoor humidity. Fresh air is usually supplied by a natural, mechanical or hybrid ventilation system. When supplying outside air into the building, it must be heated to a comfortable temperature, especially during transitional periods and the winter months. In buildings with air handling systems, the air must also be transported, humidified or dehumidified, and in summers it must be cooled which results in additional energy costs. If the use of space in a building changes or if a higher fresh air supply is necessary due to an emergency situation such as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, then this has far-reaching implications on the energy footprint of the building. The additional energy demand must be covered by the existing building services systems for heating, cooling and air handling. This leads to the following problems:

  • Increased use of fuels for heating
  • Increased electricity demand due to higher auxiliary energy consumption for air supply
  • Possible limitations of the supply systems due to the plant’s designed maximum capacity
  • Operation outside the design parameters of the ventilation system

Accordingly, need for higher ventilation rate can contribute to a large increase in operational energy demand and may overstress a system designed for a lower ventilation demand. Solutions and concepts adapted to the existing system must be determined in order to successfully increase ventilation demand while minimizing additional energy demand.

In this research project, the most common ventilation concepts will be examined for their optimization potential. Recommendations for different air supply systems will be derived in order to achieve a higher ventilation quality in existing buildings. Normal ventilation operation will be compared to emergency operation in a pandemic situation, and the possibilities to minimize the increase in a building's energy demand will be investigated. All measures are put in relation to the possible reduction of the infection risk.







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