You are currently viewing Low Energy vs. Good Indoor Environment Quality

Low Energy vs. Good Indoor Environment Quality

529507_10150789371779529_1590505135_a-100x1002014 Winter Conference

ATLANTA – In one corner, we have good indoor environment quality. In the other corner, we have energy efficiency. Do designers have to battle it out between the two or can they coexist peacefully?

Striking a balance between good indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency in homes and facilities is being addressed in a seminar at ASHRAE’s 2014 Winter Conference.

“Great progress has been made in reducing residential energy consumption, with the latest buzzword being net zero,” seminar chair Andrew Persily, Ph.D., National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md., said. “Whether a home or building is net zero or very low energy, it is critically important that energy efficiency measures do not compromise the indoor environment. Homes, and buildings in general, exist for the occupants, not to win energy efficiency competitions, but the industry often sees tension between the goals of energy efficiency and indoor air quality. As we move toward low-energy homes, we need to remember and address IAQ, providing low-energy homes that support and ideally improve the health and comfort of the occupants.”

ASHRAE’s 2014 Winter Conference, takes place Jan. 18-22, at the New York Hilton, New York, N.Y. The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Expo®, held in conjunction with the Winter Conference, runs Jan. 21-23, The Expo, held at the Javits Convention Center, takes place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as opposed to the traditional Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

For complete Conference information and to register, visit

The seminar, IAQ in Low-Energy Homes: Avoiding Collateral Damage, is being held on Sunday, Jan. 19. It is part of a track focused on Indoor Environmental Health/Indoor Environmental Quality.

Speakers will share case studies and research that show how low energy and good IEQ can work in tandem.

Presentations and speakers include:

  • Brennan Less, Residential Building Systems Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., Field Study of Airtightness, Ventilation and IAQ in 24 High Performance Green California Homes
  • Brett Singer, Ph.D., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Formaldehyde (HCHO) Measurements in New Homes
  • Kurt Roth, Ph.D., Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, Cambridge, Mass., The Realities of Operation and Occupancy in Net Zero Energy Homes: Two Case Studies
  • Persily, Ph.D., IAQ Specs in a Net-Zero Energy Research Home: How Well Did They Work

Other sessions in the Indoor Environmental Health/Indoor Environmental Quality track include:

  • Chemical Laboratories Classification to Improve Safety and Energy Efficiency, Sunday, Jan. 19
  • Selected papers in the Conference Paper Session 2, Sunday, Jan. 19
  • Can Low Energy Buildings be Healthy for Occupants?, Sunday, Jan. 19
  • Indoor Air Quality: Impact of Variables, Monday, Jan. 20
  • The Human Factor – Better Understanding of Comfort, Environment, and Risks, Monday, Jan. 20
  • Designs for Thermal Comfort and Energy Savings: Real Practices in School and Office Buildings, Monday, Jan. 20
  • A Comprehensive Look at Infectious Disease and Air Filtration in Healthcare Facilities: Energy Saving, IAQ Performance, and What Makes You Sick, Tuesday, Jan. 21
  • Real Co$t of Filtration, Tuesday, Jan. 21
  • Impact of Unvented Combustion on Indoor Air Quality, Wednesday, Jan. 22
  • Lessons Learned from Storm Recovery, Wednesday, Jan. 22

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.

Source:; December 10, 2013.