Optimizing Ventilation in Apartments for a Healthy Environment

Optimization of Ventilation in Apartments for a Healthy Environment


The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our way of life, forcing many people to work from home. However, this transition has highlighted the need for an appropriate ventilation rate to ensure a healthy indoor environment. In this context, Faure QEI (Egis Group) has undertaken an innovative project aimed at optimizing the ventilation of apartments.


This innovative project, initiated in collaboration with Professor M. Boulic ofMassey University in Auckland (NZ), APL Window Solutions and Proctor Group Australia Pty Ltd, focused on the ventilation efficiency in a 40-story apartment building in Melbourne. The study was motivated by the search for an adequate and affordable ventilation solution, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The methodology employed combined three different numerical models, namely :

  • An external #CFD wind model for the building to determine the pressure on air inlets for the three most probable wind scenarios.
  • The nodal network of the ventilation system with parameters that could modify the airflow in each room (doors, grilles, fan).
  • A CFD model of the apartment volumes to recreate the dispersion and capture of CO2, the chosen pollution indicator.


The nodal network allowed testing various variables in a short amount of time, subsequently guiding the CFD models for a more in-depth analysis.


The results revealed that the opening or closing of bedroom doors (standard gap of 2 cm) did not significantly influence the airflow. Weather conditions, on the other hand, were identified as influential factors on air flow rates. Additionally, room temperature showed an impact on internal airflow patterns, with pockets of CO2 appearing in winter.


It was found that despite the implementation of continuous air extraction, occupants were still exposed to a CO2 concentration of around 1000 ppm after 4 hours in the room. These findings suggest the need for more effective ventilation solutions, especially in winter, to avoid the formation of potentially harmful CO2 pockets.


While this study contributed to ventilation research, Faure QEI emphasizes that it remains a case study. Further investigations will be necessary to formulate general recommendations.


Faure QEI, in partnership with academic institutions, continues to play an active role in improving ventilation standards to ensure healthy and secure indoor environments, an increasingly crucial goal in the current context.


After the success of its innovative project focused on optimizing ventilation in apartments, Faure QEI announces the launch of a new study in partnership with APL Windows Solutions. This new initiative aims to determine the proper use of vents and mechanical extractors for ventilation in a prefabricated classroom model deployed in three different geographical locations. This collaboration reinforces Faure QEI’s commitment to the ongoing improvement of indoor air quality, a growing concern in the current context. By partnering with APL Windows Solutions, a leader in the design and manufacture of doors and windows in New Zealand, Faure QEI tackles a new crucial aspect of ventilation.


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2023.113828 (Open access article published in Energy and Buildings)