Research in performance of ventilation systems

For more results, click here or check our final interactive booklet !



Location : Belgium

Project team :  Th!nk-E

Replication : This research will help manufacturers to improve their ventilation systems and to instruct installation companies better.

Contacts : Leen Peeters, Tine Stevens

The project

Do you like to sleep with the window open to let in some fresh air? Many people do. However, if you want to control your energy bill, keeping the heat inside is obviously a better option. As our homes and buildings are increasingly insulated and airtightness is improved, is opening a window still the best option for ventilating a room? And what about the air quality indoors after cooking?

To find out which ventilation systems work best in real life, Th!nk-E has set up a monitoring system, taking measurements from 5 buildings with different systems. Each measurement campaign takes at least 2 weeks to assure enough data are available. Measurements are being done on a 30 seconds based in 10 rooms of 5 residential buildings with different ventilation systems.

The main conclusions of these measurements so far:

  1. There is no accurate method to predict air flows in residential buildings as the separation between zones is not airtight on itself
  2. There is little flexibility in ventilation: shifting the operation to a later period poses an immediate air quality problem
  3. The use of day and night zones to save on the total volume of fresh air makes sense only if offered as a full package with limited extra cost and when attention is paid to balances in each of the zones.
  4. Badly designed systems, even if well installed, provide poor air quality. A badly designed system in an airtight building delivers lower air quality compared to a residential building without ventilation but with little to no attention to airtightness.

The next step

Because of the diversity of results and the communication with industry, we will continue to measure and compare with the results of the newest systems on the market.

More information in the Ventilation Brochure


  • The Project

    A city operating entirely on clean energy. In theory, it's possible. But in real life? How to integrate new solutions in existing buildings, systems and people's lives? What are the technical, economic or social barriers? And how to overcome these? That's what we've learned by doing in 20 projects in Grenoble and Amsterdam.

  • Our Activities

  • Achieved Impacts

    • 20 innovations in Grenoble & Amsterdam
    • 35,000 tonnes CO2 saved per year
    • 76,000 m² renovated residential buildings
    • 10,000 dwellings connected to a Smart Grid