The conceptualization of exhalation in buildings
Keywords:pollutant emissions, ventilation systems, residential buildings, I/OAQ
Among the sources of urban air pollution, the gases and airborne particles coming out from residential buildings through normal ventilation outlets are often neglected or poorly understood. Yet, it carries the potential to deeply affect urban air quality, given the universal ubiquity and function of dwellings. The climate emergency declaration approved by the European Parliament on November 28th, 2019, calls for urgent science-based action to curtail it. Our research explores the concept of building exhalation, through research aimed at characterizing and quantifying pollutants leaving residential buildings through their ventilation systems, and how such exhalation impacts urban air quality both outside and, through recapture, inside dwellings. We have set an intensive monitoring system in residential buildings in Pamplona (Spain) to obtain hard data about selected pollutants and their exhalation from buildings, thereby helping define the complete impact of buildings as inhabited units in cities. The verification of this main statement lays on the resolution of several future research questions, which are stated in order to set the boundaries and define the path of this text, developing the concept of exhalation of buildings and the factors involved. To confirm the validity of this hypothesis, an experimental campaign is being carrying out in the city of Pamplona (Spain), which has the goal of quantifying the pollutants exhaled by residential buildings through the ventilation systems. This project is included in the global concern about the unknown pollutants sources and the need of defining the complete impact of buildings as inhabited units in cities.
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