A study published in 2001 by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab showed that people spend an average of 87% of their time inside buildings, and about 69% at home. These numbers show high importance of talking about the quality of indoor environments in modern society. Hence, it is essential to "raise the bar" of well-being inside buildings, pushing towards innovative ventilation methods based on air quality measurements, and on new control logics that preserve energy savings while improving the quality of indoor environments.
The general aim of NEW-AIR project is to systemize companies and research institutions operating in the field of quality and control of the built environment in order to define new approaches and technologies that improve the healthiness of indoor environments and thermal comfort by reducing energy consumption. The project objectives are:
- To better understand the building-user interaction, and improve it
- To improve indoor air quality starting from the removal of indoor pollutants
- To study new control and design strategies for the aeraulic system
- To promote natural ventilation and mixed mode in residential buildings
- To ensure the highest levels of indoor air quality while reducing energy consumption
- To define a home IEQ monitoring and control system
The themes proposed by this project respond to the need (highlighted by the Free University of Bolzano) for giving more space to areas of research and innovation in which it is needed to build the necessary critical mass. In particular, the proposed themes fall within the sector of provincial specialization called "Energy and Environment", and the project aims to deliver the following results:
- New IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) monitoring system
- Categorization of the major indoor pollution sources, and dissemination at the provincial level
- Development of a system for controlled natural ventilation
- New machine and new strategies for residential mechanical ventilation (VMC)
- Control system capable of coordinating different systems and guiding the user: the residential "building management system" (BMS)
New-Air is a 3-year project which started in March 2019 and received 515,008.88 € funding.