Indoor air quality and the suitability of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems in energy efficient social housing projects : perceptions of UK building professionals

McGill, Grainne and Oyedele, Lukumon O. and Keeffe, Greg and Keig, Peter (2015) Indoor air quality and the suitability of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems in energy efficient social housing projects : perceptions of UK building professionals. International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development, 5 (4). pp. 240-249. ISSN 2093-761X

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    Abstract

    The quality of indoor air in energy efficient buildings is a significantly important yet under-researched area, particularly in a social housing context. This study investigated perceptions of UK building professionals regarding the effect of energy efficient design strategies on indoor air quality. In-depth interviews were conducted with building professionals of four recently completed UK energy efficient social housing projects. The interviews explored perceptions of the importance of indoor air quality consideration during the design process, the impact of energy efficient design strategies on indoor air and the application of Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems in a social housing context. The results suggest a significant lack of attention to indoor air quality in energy efficient social housing projects; attributed to a lack of knowledge, perceived costs associated with indoor air quality strategies, focus on energy efficiency goals and a fundamental lack of motivation. Furthermore, major shortcomings of Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery systems in social housing were emphasised by the building professionals, suggesting an urgent need to re-evaluate the suitability of these systems in a social housing context. The results can be used to aid the development of effective, sustainable social housing schemes that ensure the protection of occupant health and wellbeing.

    ORCID iDs

    McGill, Grainne ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8716-9567, Oyedele, Lukumon O., Keeffe, Greg and Keig, Peter;