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Air flows and energy use

Research Achievements

Air flows and energy use

IGERT trainees James Lo (Architectural Engineering) and Brent Stephens (Environmental Engineering) completed research involving models, wind tunnels, and a test house to develop new methods to predict relationships between air flows into and within buildings, energy use and pollutant transport and removal. Their work provides powerful new tools to researchers and practitioners. Outcomes include (1) improvements in the accuracy of natural ventilation models, (2) new methods to predict air infiltration rates based on simple measurements of indoor-outdoor pressure differences, (3) new knowledge on the penetration of outdoor particles and ozone into buildings as a function of building air leakage characteristics and envelope materials, and (4) a contradiction of the long-held (but unsubstantiated) belief that improved particle filtration systems require more energy usage. The work of trainees Stephens and Lo has led to 1 journal article and 5 conference papers during the past year.