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Effects of energy retrofits on Indoor Air Quality in multifamily buildings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

We assessed 45 multifamily buildings (240 apartments) from Finland and 20 (96 apartments) from Lithuania, out of which 37 buildings in Finland and 15 buildings in Lithuania underwent energy retrofits. Building characteristics, retrofit activities, and energy consumption data were collected, and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) parameters, including carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ), formaldehyde (CH 2 O), selected volatile organic compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX), radon, and microbial content in settled dust were measured before and after the retrofits. After the retrofits, heating energy consumption decreased by an average of 24% and 49% in Finnish and Lithuanian buildings, respectively. After the retrofits of Finnish buildings, there was a significant increase in BTEX concentrations (estimated mean increase of 2.5 µg/m 3 ), whereas significant reductions were seen in fungal (0.6-log reduction in cells/m 2 /d) and bacterial (0.6-log reduction in gram-positive and 0.9-log reduction in gram-negative bacterial cells/m 2 /d) concentrations. In Lithuanian buildings, radon concentrations were significantly increased (estimated mean increase of 13.8 Bq/m 3 ) after the retrofits. Mechanical ventilation was associated with significantly lower CH 2 O concentrations in Finnish buildings. The results and recommendations presented in this paper can inform building retrofit studies and other programs and policies aimed to improve indoor environment and health.

Keywords

  • bacteria, chemical exposure, fungi, microbial exposure, radon, residential building

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland