LINES OF INVESTIGATION

The economic and social situation of architecture in Spain has entailed a perfect atmosphere for the proposal of new techniques and strategies to improve the quality of the interior spaces. The strategy followed by the Conditioning and Ventilation Laboratory has been directed towards the achievement of air quality in interior spaces by participating and leading several research projects.

Research projects have promoted the opening of several lines of research that converge in achieving the objectives set and technically develop proposals for improving the planning, design, construction and facilities:

  Indoor air quality.

The air quality inside the habitable spaces depends on the interior and exterior surrounding conditions that define the environment. The architectonic spaces design defines the behavior and the renovation air distribution, which depends on its way from the admission to the extraction.
The distance and position of the inlet, extraction and though openings in the inside spaces condition the formation of halted air volumes that worsen the global air quality. The openings’ shape and aerodynamics allow improving air distribution, reducing damaging agents concentration and halted air volumes.

  Outside air renovation.

The air renovation process in urban environments depends on the urban shape and the ability that the air has to distribute inside the cities. The degree of confinement of these spaces regarding the air distribution capacity inside urban spaces contributes to the mixture of inhibition of the city air and the “clean” air coming from suburban areas creating air halted masses that accumulate pollutants originating from combustion smokes and other sources.

The joint analysis of wind dynamics in outdoor spaces and the distribution of bogged down air masses helps integrate the indoor air quality study with outdoor conditions.

Following that, the study of the architectonic influence on outdoor air-supplying spaces lets us know the consequences building design has, and its interrelation with urban environments so as to ease the air exchange with atmospheric air.

The joint analysis of wind dynamics in outdoor spaces and the distribution of bogged down air masses helps integrate the indoor air quality study with outdoor conditions.
Following that, the study of the architectonic influence on outdoor air-supplying spaces lets us know the consequences building design has, and its interrelation with urban environments so as to ease the air exchange with atmosp
heric air.

  Infiltrations.

Defects in the process of building construction execution and design deficiencies cause air infiltration and exfiltration in the inside spaces with the outside air. The impact on indoor air quality due to this phenomenon is influenced by the uncontrolled exchange that occurs through cracks and fissures, as well as through the pipes of the facilities that connect different spaces. Moreover, this phenomenon entails an energy impact when the hygrothermal properties exchange between the indoor air and outdoor air occurs.

The analysis of in situ infiltrations is accomplished with the indoor spaces controlled pressurization equipment. This equipment evaluates the pressure gradient between the inside and the outside when a variation of pressure with respect to atmospheric pressure is caused.

  Vertical ducts (Passive Stack Ventilation Effect)

Ventilation of the interior spaces through conducts requires the analysis of the aerodynamic behaviour of these interface spaces between the interior and exterior spaces.

Vertical ducts provide conventional ventilation systems with the ability to extract ventilated air to the upper bounds of outdoor spaces. The analysis of the ability to produce that non-mechanical ventilation facilitates the achievement of  air renewal without the use of energetic resources.


These four lines of research seek to meet the achievement of the objectives of the Recognized Research Group Architecture & Energy. More specifically, the indoor air quality is directly dependent on the quality of the process of air renovation in the outside spaces. The outdoor spaces in the immediate surroundings of the buildings Dispensed provide with clean air to the interior of the buidlings through the inlets and uncontrolled air infiltrations through the building envelope constructive deficiencies. Once the air renovation on the inside is performed, it is expelled to the urban environment through the exhaust openings, ducts or uncontrollably through infiltrations.
The knowledge of the behavior of the air in relation to different circumstances that may already provide the boundary conditions of the environment in which displacement occurs, facilitates the overall air quality inside space analysis.