An energy impact assessment of ventilation for indoor airborne bacteria exposure risk in air-conditioned offices

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment of fresh air in ventilation systems for air-conditioned offices consumes a significant amount of energy and affects the indoor air quality (IAQ). In this study, energy impact on the ventilation systems was examined against certain IAQ objectives for indoor airborne bacteria exposure risk in air-conditioned offices of Hong Kong. The relationship between thermal energy consumptions and indoor airborne bacteria exposure levels based on regional surveys was investigated. The thermal energy consumptions of ventilation systems operating for carbon dioxide (CO2) exposure concentrations between 800 and 1200 ppmv for typical office buildings and the corresponding failure probability against some target bacteria exposure levels were evaluated. The results showed that, for a reference indoor environment at a CO2exposure concentration of 1000 ppmv, the predicted average thermal energy saving of ventilation system for a unit increment of the expected risk of unsatisfactory IAQ of 1% was 55 MJ m-2yr-1and for a unit decrement of 1%, the predicted additional thermal energy consumption was 58 MJ m-2yr-1respectively. This study would be a useful source of reference in evaluation of the energy performance of ventilation strategies in air-conditioned offices at a quantified exposure risk of airborne bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1944
Number of pages6
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Air-conditioning
  • Airborne bacteria exposure level
  • Thermal energy consumption
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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