Numerical evaluation of ventilation performance in children day care centres

Viegas, João Carlos, Susana Nogueira, Daniel Aelenei, Hildebrando Cruz, Manuela Cano, and Nuno Neuparth. "Numerical evaluation of ventilation performance in children day care centres." Building Simulation. 8 (2015): 189-209.


Modelling of ventilation is strongly dependent on the physical characteristics of the building of which precise evaluation is a complex and time consuming task. In the frame of a research project, two children day care centres (CDCC) have been selected in order to measure the envelope air permeability, the flow rate of mechanical ventilation systems and indoor and outdoor temperature. The data obtained was used as input to the computer code CONTAM for ventilation simulations. The results obtained were compared with direct measurements of ventilation flow from short term measurements with CO2 tracer gas and medium term measurements with perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) gas decay method. After validation, in order to analyse the main parameters that affect ventilation, the model was used to predict the ventilation rates for a wide range of conditions. The purpose of this assessment was to find the best practices to improve natural ventilation. A simple analytical method to predict the ventilation flow rate of rooms is also presented. The method is based on the estimation of wind effect on the room through the evaluation of an average factor and on the assessment of relevant cross section of gaps and openings combined in series or in parallel. It is shown that it may be applied with acceptable accuracy for this type of buildings when ventilation is due essentially to wind action.