Research Design Connection: Benefits of Enhanced Ventilation

There are clear benefits to enhanced building ventilation. MacNaughton and colleagues report that they ā€œestimated the energy consumption and associated per building occupant costs for office buildings in seven U.S. cities, representing different climate zones for three ventilation scenarios (standard practice (20 cfm/person), 30% enhanced ventilation, and 40 cfm/person) and four different heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system strategies (Variable Air Volume (VAV) with reheat and a Fan Coil Unit (FCU), both with and without an energy recovery ventilator)ā€¦[and] estimate[d] the economic benefit of increased productivity associated with increasing ventilation rates.ā€ The team learned that, ā€œDoubling the ventilation rate from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers minimum cost less than $40 per person per year in all climate zones investigatedā€¦The same change in ventilation improved the performance of workers by 8%, equivalent to a $6500 increase in employee productivity each year. Reduced absenteeism and improved health …