Researchers from the UCL Energy Institute have been awarded the prestigious Napier Shaw Bronze Medal for their paper. It was entitled “The relationship between airtightness and ventilation in new UK dwellings” published in 2019. The award, which is presented each year by CIBSE, is in recognition of the highest rated research in the building services industry published by their journal, Building Services Engineering Research and Technology (BSER&T).
The authors of the paper, Dr Jenny Crawley (lead author), Dr Jez Wingfield and Dr Cliff Elwell, used ATTMA’s airtightness test dataset. The paper was to explore the relationship between designed air permeability and ventilation.
The results showed that dwellings with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) installed are only slightly more airtight that of naturally ventilated dwellings. This often leads homes that have MVHR being too leaky and naturally ventilated dwellings not providing enough fresh air.
As a result of this, they proposed that coupling air tightness design with ventilation strategy could reduce a homes energy demand which would support achieving the required energy performance and lead to better indoor air quality and healthier indoor environment.
Dr Crawley said;
“…We found that there has been a missed opportunity to maximise the benefits of the energy efficiency and ventilation strategies that can be corrected quite simply – by considering them together. We lay out a straightforward way of doing this and encourage building regulation to incorporate it. This should lead to lower CO2 emissions and better air quality in new homes.”
ATTMA statistics can be found here
The paper can be found: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0143624418822199