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Ventilation systems

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Limiting the impact of outdoor air quality on indoor air

Ventilation systems are presumed to play a role in bringing outdoor air pollutants into buildings, with potential adverse consequences for indoor air quality and residents’ health.

With the 'Out2In' project we are seeking to investigate four areas of research:

  • the role mechanical ventilation systems play in bringing in outdoor air pollutants
  • the extent to which classical air filtration, applied within certain system types, offers a solution
  • the effectiveness and added value of in-depth filtration
  • the potential of electrostatic precipitation as an alternative technology.

Real-life measurements better reflect the performance of ventilation systems and their influence on the quality of the air coming from outside.

The innovative aspect of this project is that the performance of the filters is determined under real conditions. To do this, we study the filters (and not the ventilation systems) in a test station built in our labs in Greenbizz (Brussels). Here the performance of different filters types is being monitored over a one-year period. In 2021, monthly follow-up measurements were performed in a new configuration, based partly on insights acquired during the first one-year measurement series. We also performed a series of in situ measurements in Brussels dwellings – more specifically of the ventilation systems – among other things to complement and better understand previous insights.

These measurements give us a picture of real-life performance and evolution. On this basis, we can also make recommendations in the field of filter choice, risk management during peak pollution, smart ventilation strategies and maintenance. In this way, healthy indoor air is guaranteed at all times.