Indoor Air, 14(Suppl 7), 157-167. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2004.00284.x
The thermal environment and air quality in buildings affects occupants’ health, comfort and performance. The heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) of buildings today is designed to provide a uniform room environment. However, large individual differences exist between occupants in regard to physiological and psychological response, clothing insulation, activity, air temperature and air movement preference, etc. Environmental conditions acceptable for most occupants in rooms may be achieved by providing each occupant with the possibility to generate and control his/her own preferred microenvironment. Furthermore, HVAC systems should be designed to protect occupants from airborne transmission of infectious agents that may be present in exhaled air. Personalized ventilation is a new development in the field of HVAC and has the potential to fulfill the above requirements. This paper reviews existing knowledge on performance of personalized ventilation (PV) and on human response to it. The airflow interaction in the vicinity of the human body is analyzed and its impact on thermal comfort and inhaled air quality is discussed together with control strategies and the application of PV in practice. Performance criteria are defined. Recommendations for design of PV that would be in compliance with the criteria are given. Future research needed on the topic is outlined.
Personalized ventilation can improve occupants’ comfort, decrease SBS symptoms and reduce the risk of transmission of contagion between occupants in comparison with total volume ventilation. However in order to perform efficiently in rooms in practice, the design (air distribution, control, etc.) has to be carefully considered together with type of occupant activity (occupancy rate, occupied density, etc.).