Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Evaluation of distributed environmental control systems for improving IAQ and reducing energy consumption in office buildings


fast executing simulations, ventilation, distributed control systems, indoor air quality, office buildings


Conventional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are incapable of providing control over individual environments or adjusting fresh air supply based on the dynamic occupancy of individual rooms in an office building. This paper introduces the concept of distributed environmental control systems (DECS) and shows that improvement in indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy efficiency can be achieved by providing required amounts of fresh air directly to the individual office spaces through distributed demand controlled ventilation (DDCV). In DDCV, fresh air is provided to each micro-environment (room or cubicle) based on input from distributed sensors (CO2, VOC, occupancy, etc.) or intelligent scheduling techniques to provide acceptable IAQ for each occupant, rather than for groups or populations of occupants. In order to study DECS, a numerical model was developed that incorporates some of the best available models for studying building energy consumption, indoor air flow, contaminant transport and HVAC system performance. The developed model was applied to a DECS in a model office building equipped with a DDCV system. By implementing DECS/DDCV and intelligent scheduling techniques it is possible to achieve an improvement in IAQ along with a reduction in annual energy consumption compared to conventional ventilation systems.


Tsinghua University Press