EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in

Energy Resilience and the Built Environment

EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in

Energy Resilience and the Built Environment

EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment

Jalal Ahmed


Scalable method to assess ventilation rates in dwellings

After completing his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences, Jalal completed an MSc in Sustainable Building: Performance and Design from Oxford Brookes University. He then worked as a sustainability engineer focusing on environmental modelling, renewable energy feasibility studies and building performance evaluation. Being interested in the environmental degradation of historic buildings, he is also a Conservation Volunteer with the National Trust.

Jalal joined the ERBE CDT in 2019 with research interests in moisture and ventilation.

Project Abstract:

Knowledge of air exchange rates in existing buildings is increasingly important, especially in the context of retrofit. Retrofit interventions to improve the energy efficiency of a dwelling will most likely lead to a reduction in air exchange through infiltration, and it is important to ensure that this does not negatively impact the overall background ventilation rate in the building.
There are many established techniques for measuring and characterising air exchange rates in buildings. Despite this, there is currently very little data available regarding ventilation rates of existing dwellings in the UK. This is partly due to the complexity and cost of deploying established techniques, e.g. tracer gases, at scale.
However, through the increasing uptake of smart thermostats it is likely that temperature and humidity data will be available for large numbers of dwellings in the future. This project aims to explore how this data can be used to estimate ventilation rate. Provided both internal and external hygrothermal conditions are recorded, the resulting vapour pressure excess, i.e. moisture content rise above external levels, can be derived. Since vapour pressure excess is effectively a function of internal moisture generation and ventilation effectiveness, estimates of ventilation rate can theoretically be made using vapour pressure excess.


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