VOC emission rates in newly built and renovated buildings, and the influence of ventilation – a review and meta-analysis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe International Journal of Ventilation. 2018, 1-14. 10.1080/14733315.2018.1435026
Few field studies have evaluated ventilation strategies, such as temporarily increasing the ventilation rate, to counter the high pollutant-load from off-gassing of volatile compounds from new materials in these buildings. We reviewed longitudinal studies that measured both ventilation rate (i.e. fresh air change rate) and airborne concentration of total volatile organic compounds (TVOC). Rates of emission of TVOC follow a multi-exponential decay trend over time after completion of a building. A tri-exponential trend-was fitted by quantile regression. Although the ventilation rate is key to controlling airborne concentrations, it does not noticeably influence TVOC emission rates. Specifying low-emitting materials, or bake-out before occupancy, both have a significant impact on emission rates . The results can be used to assess and size energy-efficient practical ventilation strategies (such as demand-controlled ventilation) to keep the concentration of TVOCs within acceptable levels during hours of occupancy after completion of a new or renovated building.