BPI and RESNET and Mechanical Ventilation

The Building Performance Institute (BPI) and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) have initiated the premier building science, energy saving programs.  There will be an increasing number of programs to look at and analyze house over the coming years, particularly since so much money is being thrown at the problem.  Almost anyone who ever thought about a house is going to be trying to put together an analysis tool or a educational approach to get a piece of the action.

BPI and RESNET have done a pretty good job of establishing themselves as the authorities.  They have also recognized that if they don’t start working together both programs are likely to fall apart.  They are working on some joint programs, and working out the details of how auditors or analysts can get certified and the means to maintain the integrity of the programs without overburdening them with too much paperwork.

But one element that they have yet to spend much time on is the role of mechanical ventilation.  Both programs nod to the concept that if house is tightened up it will need to be ventilated, but neither program spends very much time on the subject.  How hard can it be?  How much do you really need to know?  How much more information does an installer need than when to use a heat recovery ventilator and when to use a central exhaust fan?

The difficulty is that we don’t have a great deal of research on the impact of low levels of pollutants on the health of the occupants.  The malaise that a person feels may the flu or it may be carbon monoxide poisoning.  What is the impact of low levels of formaldehyde from the combination of terpene from the air freshener and the ozone in the air?

The role of mechanical ventilation in a house is simple enough.  It’s there to get rid of the pollutants and move the air around for the comfort of the occupants and the durability of the structure.  It has to be able to do that effectively without interfering with the operation of other mechanical systems like furnaces and fireplaces.

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One Response to “BPI and RESNET and Mechanical Ventilation”

  1. clay rager Says:

    If the building is not looked at completely, say as you do an algebraic equation, (what you do to one side you must do the the other). You can do more harm than good. if we take this time and share info RESNET/BPI and put a joint effort together and keep good testing records in/out we’ll have the service that is needed.

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