Paper Conference

Proceedings of Building Simulation 2021: 17th Conference of IBPSA


Indoor air quality during lockdown: A monitoring-based simulation-assisted study in London

Farhang Tahmasebi, Elizabeth Cooper, Yan Wang, Daniel Godoy Shimizu, Samuel Stamp, Dejan Mumovic
UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, University College London, United Kingdom

Abstract: The Covid-19 outbreak has resulted in new patterns of home occupancy, the implications of which for indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy use are not well-known. In this context, the present study investigates 8 flats in London to uncover if during a lockdown, (a) IAQ in the monitored flats deteriorated, (b) the patterns of window operation by occupants changed, and (c) more effective ventilation patterns could enhance IAQ without significant increases in heating energy demand. To this end, one-year’s worth of monitored data on indoor and outdoor environment along with occupant use of windows has been used to analyse the impact of lockdown on IAQ. Moreover, using on-site CO2 data, monitored occupancy and operation of windows, the team has calibrated a thermal performance model of one of the flats to investigate the implications of alternative ventilation strategies. The results suggest that despite the extended occupancy during lockdown, occupants relied less on natural ventilation, which led to significantly higher CO2 and PM10 concentrations. However, simple natural ventilation patterns or use of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery proves to be very effective to maintain acceptable IAQ.
Keywords: Indoor air quality, Covid-19 lockdown, Window operation, Calibrated simulation
Pages: 3521 - 3528