Energy and Buildings, Vol.199, 20-28, 2019
Investigating the potential impact of a compartmentalization and ventilation system retrofit strategy on energy use in high-rise residential buildings
A proposed retrofit strategy for high-rise residential buildings involving compartmentalization of apartment units and decentralised in-suite ventilation with heat recovery was studied in order to determine the impact on overall space heating energy for the building and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Field data from a case study building in Vancouver, Canada is used to create a calibrated energy model of the building using EnergyPlus simulation software, which was then used to simulate the proposed retrofit and estimate its impact on energy use. The simulation shows annual space heating energy decreasing by 49% with the associated GHG emissions decreasing by 70%. These results are compared to the measured impact of an enclosure retrofit which had been previously implemented on the building. The enclosure retrofit had a 55% decrease in measured impact on reducing the overall heat loss - slightly greater than that of the proposed retrofit - however the associated GHG emissions only decreased by 25% since only electric heating energy was impacted in this case, the source of which is a hydro-electricity dominated grid. With both retrofits (enclosure plus compartmentalization and in-suite ventilation with heat recovery) done together, a 78% reduction in total space heating energy and an 83% reduction in associated GHG emissions are realised. Another major benefit of the proposed retrofit would be improved indoor air quality for the building's occupants due to a significant improvement in mechanical ventilation distribution effectiveness. Because building enclosure air-tightness improvements can negatively impact air distribution in buildings with pressurized corridor ventilation systems, the proposed retrofit should be applied in combination with, or before, an enclosure retrofit. Thermal resilience should also improve, with longer passive surviveability durations from a reduction in uncontrolled air leakage induced by stack effect. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.