Energy conservation technologies for mitigation and adaptation in the built environment: the role of ventilation strategies and smart materials
Global climatic change in association to local phenomena like air ambient temperatures due to urban heat island, prolong the duration of hot spells and increase the frequency of hot waves. Nowadays it is more than evident that the urban temperatures’ increase has a serious impact on the energy consumption of buildings by raising significantly the energy demand for cooling and lowering slightly the energy demand for heating. Moreover the urban heat island decreases substantially the environmental quality in low income housing and affects indoor and outdoor thermal comfort conditions,. In parallel, high urban temperatures contribute towards higher concentration of pollutants, while the urban ecological footprint increases considerably.
Forecasts of the future ambient temperatures in the specific geographic areas of Europe as well as projections of the expected energy consumption of the building sector show an important temperature increase followed by a serious increase of the energy consumption. Simulation studies have shown that when proper mitigation and adaptation techniques are undertaken, both the energy consumption and the environmental quality in the built environment are improved considerably.
Mitigation techniques aiming to reduce the sources and enhance the sinks of temperature anomaly, can contribute highly to improve the urban thermal environment, decrease the energy consumption of buildings and also decrease urban temperatures. Proper mitigation technologies involve among other, energy conservation techniques like advanced ventilation, new envelope technologies, the use of highly reflective materials to decrease the absorption of solar radiation by the earth surface, the use of advanced nano-technological materials adapted to the local climate, the additional use of urban green spaces and the use of appropriate heat sink technologies like the ground and water. Advanced mitigation techniques have been applied quite recently in many building urban rehabilitation projects and have succeeded to improve significantly the energy performance of buildings as well as the local microclimate.
In parallel, proper adaptation techniques involves technological adjustments aiming to moderate its energy and environmental impact. Hundreds of technological improvements targeting the building envelope, the heating, ventilation and cooling systems as well as the energy management system have been proposed. Technological improvements permit to design and built buildings presenting a close to zero energy consumption.
In most countries, the building sector offers the largest potential for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. This potential lies in particular in the management of space conditioning energy use, as 30% to 70% of this demand is dissipated through ventilation and infiltration, and the development of smart materials offers new perspectives to minimize cooling needs.
The 34th AIVC conference focused on research, technologies, policies and market transformation to employ in an optimal way proper mitigation and adaptation techniques aiming to reduce the energy consumption of buildings and improve the urban microclimate. The conference focused on the energy impact of ventilation and air infiltration while ensuring good indoor air quality and thermal comfort, as well as on converging work on smart materials to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector.
One major theme was ventilative cooling—i.e., the application of outdoor air flow rates to reduce the cooling loads in buildings. The potential of this technique is more and more considered to reduce the cooling energy demand in summer or mid-season conditions, depending on outdoor climate, building design and internal loads.
Ventilative cooling potential is all the more significant as it is integrated in an overall design strategy, where the management of solar loads plays a crucial role. For this reason, AIVC and the European Cool Roof Council joined forces to encourage mutually beneficial exchanges between both communities.
The third major theme of the conference was efficient ventilation and building and ductwork airtightness in new and renovated nearly zero-energy buildings. It aimed to cover recent developments to improve the performance of ventilation systems with a balanced approach between health and energy concerns.
The conference fostered new research and development, applications and market transformation in these areas with the support of the following international initiatives:
- venticool—the international platform for ventilative cooling;
- ECRC—the European Cool Roof Council
- TightVent Europe—the Building and Ductwork Airtightness Platform.
The conference consisted of 3 or 4 parallel tracks devoted to a large extent to the following topics:
- Ventilative cooling;
- Cool roofs;
- Envelope and ductwork airtightness;
- Ventilation system performance and indoor air quality.
The conference consisted of a mixture of:
- Topical sessions—i.e., well-prepared structured workshops focused on the conference topics;
- Presentations on invitation;
- Presentations from call for papers.
For ventilative cooling aspects:
- Potential for ventilative cooling strategies
- Design approaches for ventilative cooling and case studies
- Ventilative cooling in energy performance regulations
- Summer comfort and ventilation
For cool roofs aspects:
- The energy potential of Cool Roofs
- Cool Roofs materials and methods
- Cool Roofs Case studies
- Cool materials and the urban heat island mitigation.
For airtightness related aspects:
- Product and method developments for envelope and ductwork airtightness
- Envelope and ductwork airtightness in renovated buildings
- Energy and IAQ impact of envelope and ductwork leakage
- Ventilation and infiltration in mild climates
For ventilation system performance and indoor air quality aspects:
- Innovative ventilation concepts and combined systems
- Demand‐controlled ventilation
- Humidity control and moisture damage
- Ventilation, thermal comfort and infiltration in nearly zero‐energy buildings
- Ventilation, indoor air quality and health
- Quality of ventilation systems
The conference was organised by the International Network on Ventilation and Energy Performance (INIVE) on behalf of the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC), TightVent Europe (the Building and Ductwork Airtightness Platform), venticool (the international platform for ventilative cooling) and the ECRC (the European Cool Roof Council).
The AIVC activities are supported by the following countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Sweden and USA.
Created in 1979, the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (www.aivc.org ) is one of the projects/annexes running under the Energy Conservation in Buildings and Community Systems implementing agreement, within the context of the International Energy Agency. With the support of 17 member countries as well as key experts and two associations (REHVA and IBPSA), the AIVC offers industry and research organisations technical support aimed at better understanding the ventilation challenges and optimising energy efficient ventilation.
About TightVent Europe
TightVent Europe ( www.tightvent.eu ) aims at facilitating exchanges and progress on building and ductwork airtightness issues, including the organization of conferences and workshops. It fosters experience sharing as well as knowledge production and dissemination on practical issues such as specifications, design, execution, control, etc., taking advantage of the lessons learnt from pioneering work while keeping in mind the need for adequate ventilation.
TightVent Europe has been initiated by INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance) with at present the financial and/or technical support of the following partners: Aeroseal, Buildings Performance Institute Europe, BlowerDoor GmbH, European Climate Foundation, Eurima, Lindab, Retrotec, Soudal, Tremco illbruck, and Wienerberger.
venticool (http://venticool.eu/) is the international ventilative cooling platform launched in October 2012 to accelerate the uptake of ventilative cooling by raising awareness, sharing experience and steering research and development efforts in the field of ventilative cooling. The platform supports better guidance for the appropriate implementation of ventilative cooling strategies as well as adequate credit for such strategies in building regulations. The platform philosophy is pull resources together and to avoid duplicating efforts to maximize the impact of existing and new initiatives. venticool will join forces with organizations with significant experience and/or well identified in the field of ventilation and thermal comfort like AIVC (www.aivc.org ) and REHVA (www.rehva.eu).
venticool has been initiated by INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance) with the financial and/or technical support of the following partners: Agoria-NAVENTA, ES-SO, Eurima, Velux and Window Master.
The ECRC is a not-for-profit association whose initiatives are driven and paid for by members. It is a voluntary organization that brings value by promoting the benefits of cool roofing products to regulators, policy makers, consumers and other stakeholders.
Established in 2011, and with more than 25 members around Europe, ECRC believes that Cool Roofs can make an important contribution to mitigating climate change through reducing the urban heat island effect and increasing the sustainability of buildings. For this reason, the ECRC promotes the certification of Cool Roof products and their use across Europe.
INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance) was created in 2001 as a so-called European Economic Interest Grouping. The main reason for founding INIVE was to set up a worldwide acting network of excellence in knowledge gathering and dissemination. At present, INIVE has 11 member organisations (BBRI, CETIAT, CIMNE, CSTB, ERG, ENTPE, IBP-Fraunhofer, SINTEF, NKUA, TMT US and TNO) (www.inive.org )
INIVE is coordinating and/or facilitating various international projects, e.g. the AIVC, the European portal on Energy Efficiency (www.buildup.eu ), TightVent Europe and Dynastee (www.dynastee.info ). INIVE has also coordinated the ASIEPI project (01/10/2007 – 31/03/2010 ) dealing with the evaluation of the implementation and impact of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.