An energy impact assessment of indoor air quality acceptance for air-conditioned offices

Ling Tim Wong, Kwok Wai Mui, K. L. Shi, P. S. Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment of fresh air in ventilation systems for the air-conditioning consumes a considerable amount of energy and affects the indoor air quality (IAQ). The ventilation demand is primarily related to the occupant load. In this study, the ventilation demands due to occupant load variations and occupant acceptability were examined against certain IAQ objectives using the mass balance of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in an air-conditioned office. In particular, this study proposed a ventilation model for the consideration of the occupant load variations and occupant acceptability based on the regional survey of typical offices (422 samples) in Hong Kong. The model was applied to evaluate the relative energy performance of different IAQ objectives in ventilation systems for typical office buildings in Hong Kong. The results showed that the energy consumption of a ventilation system would be correlated with the occupant load and acceptability in the air-conditioned office. Indicative CO2levels of 800 ppmv, 1000 ppmv and 1200 ppmv corresponding to 83%, 97% and 99.7% survey samples were shown, corresponding to the thermal energy consumptions of 1500 MJ m-2yr-1, 960 MJ m-2yr-1and 670 MJ m-2yr-1, respectively. In regards to the monetary issue, an annual value of HK$ 762 million per year in electrical consumption could be saved in all office buildings in Hong Kong when the indoor target CO2concentration is increased from 1000 ppmv to 1200 ppmv. To achieve an excellent IAQ following the existing design standard, i.e. to decrease the CO2level from 1000 ppmv to 800 ppmv, 56% additional energy would be consumed, corresponding to an annual value of HK$ 1,419 million, even though the occupant acceptability is only improved from 81% to 86%. The development of the models in this study would be useful for the energy performance evaluation of ventilation systems in air-conditioned offices. Crown
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2815-2819
Number of pages5
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


  • Energy saving
  • Occupant load
  • Occupant satisfactory
  • System optimization
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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