Academic article

Coupled mass and heat transfer modeling in building envelopes to consistently assess human exposure and energy performance in indoor environments

This study aims to predict human exposure to pollutants and heating load in buildings by developing a numerical model coupling heat and chemical transfers in the building envelope. The study characterizes the effect of temperature and air renewal rate on chemical emissions from building materials and human exposure. The results show that increasing indoor temperature by 10°C doubles the maximum indoor air concentration of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, leading to increased human exposure. The study also finds that higher air renewal rates lead to smaller intake fractions of pollutants from building materials. The study highlights the need to guide early design choices towards a good compromise between human indoor exposure and heating load, especially with the increasing emphasis on energy-efficient building design.

This is a pre-print manuscript pending publication in open access scientific journals.

This document has been developed within the framework of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) project ID: 9771 on Global Best Practices on Emerging Chemical Policy Issues of Concern under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

Emerging Policy Issues: Chemicals in products