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Ventilation in occupied homes: measurement, performance and sociotechnical perspectives

Few, Jessica Frances Mary; (2021) Ventilation in occupied homes: measurement, performance and sociotechnical perspectives. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In the UK, steps have been taken to reduce air permeability of buildings and reduce their energy consumption due to unplanned ventilation. However, adequate ventilation is required for good indoor air quality. The building regulations require means for adequate ventilation in new buildings for good indoor air quality, and in England Approved Document F (ADF) sets out how this may be achieved. Nonetheless, few detailed studies of ventilation in occupied homes have been carried out. This project addresses aspects of ventilation measurement, performance of ventilation systems and the sociotechnical nature of ventilation in occupied homes. Ventilation in occupied buildings is driven by building characteristics, ventilation equipment, weather conditions and occupant actions and therefore can be highly variable. Despite this, much ventilation research in occupied homes either measures a long-term average ventilation rate or collects a small number of `snap-shot’ measurements of ventilation rate. This research developed a method for measuring ventilation rates in occupied homes based on the tracer gas decay technique using metabolic CO₂. The method was applied in four occupied dwellings over 6 months to give more than 500 ventilation rate measurements. These results facilitated assessment of the performance of the ventilation system and exploration of the variation in ventilation rates. This revealed significant differences in the ventilation rates experienced by occupants in the different dwellings and highlighted shortcomings in the planned ventilation system. Ventilation in occupied homes is strongly influenced by occupants. The final part of the research used a social practice theory framework to compare the participants’ practices with the intended uses of ventilation equipment implicit in ADF. This revealed that although the participants shared many of ADF’s goals in terms of the air in their homes, their practices were more nuanced than ADF and that their use of the ventilation equipment did not reflect ADF’s intentions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Ventilation in occupied homes: measurement, performance and sociotechnical perspectives
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130632
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