Indoor air quality in Passivhaus dwellings : a literature review

Moreno-Rangel, Alejandro and Sharpe, Tim and McGill, Gráinne and Musau, Filbert (2020) Indoor air quality in Passivhaus dwellings : a literature review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (13). 4749. ISSN 1660-4601 (

[thumbnail of Moreno-Rangel-etal-IJERPH-2020-Indoor-air-quality-in-Passivhaus-dwellings]
Text. Filename: Moreno_Rangel_etal_IJERPH_2020_Indoor_air_quality_in_Passivhaus_dwellings.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (396kB)| Preview


Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical consideration in airtight buildings that depend on mechanical ventilation, such as those constructed to the Passivhaus standard. While previous reviews of IAQ on Passivhaus-certified buildings foccused on offices, this study examines residential buildings. A summary of data collection methods and pollutant concentrations is presented, followed by a critical discussion of the impact of Passivhaus design strategies on IAQ. This review indicates that IAQ in Passivhaus-certified dwellings is generally better than in conventional homes, but both occupant behaviour and pollution from outdoor sources play a significant role in indoor concentrations. Moreover, there are differences in data collection and reporting methods. Many of the available studies depend on short-term IAQ monitoring of less than two weeks, making it difficult to determine the longer impact of housing design on IAQ and occupants’ well-being. There is also a lack of studies from non-European countries. Future research should focus on investigating associations between IAQ and Passivhaus design strategies in hot and humid climates, where evidence is particularly lacking. Further effort is also required to investigate potential links between occupant’s perception of IAQ and physical exposure to indoor pollution. Finally, the lack of homogeneous monitoring and reporting methods for IAQ studies needs to be addressed.


Moreno-Rangel, Alejandro ORCID logoORCID:, Sharpe, Tim ORCID logoORCID:, McGill, Gráinne ORCID logoORCID: and Musau, Filbert;