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May 2017
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 Modern Metabolic Science Yields Better Way to Calculate Indoor CO2

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The air we breathe out can help us improve the quality of the air we breathe in.

Measurements of indoor carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are used to evaluate indoor air quality, which is strongly linked to the levels of contaminants, such as gases and particles, circulating about with CO2. This information also can be used to control ventilation, which helps clean the air, and reduce the need for heating and cooling, which saves energy.

However, according to researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and George Mason University, the formula that’s been used since the early 1980s to estimate an integral part of those calculations—the amount of CO2 generated by building occupants—relies on old data and a method lacking scientific documentation. This means current estimates of CO2 generation rates may be off by as much as 25 percent.

To help address the problem, the researchers have developed a new computation method that uses well-established concepts from the study of human metabolism and exercise physiology relating CO2 generation rates to body size and composition, diet and level of physical activity. This results in more accurate estimates of the CO2 generated by individuals, which subsequently yields an improved estimate of the concentration produced by a building’s entire occupant population.

The work is reported in the journal Indoor Air.

Control Solutions, Inc We wanted to alert you about this important tool because we know that it will be of great interest to your audience. Our news item (access here) details the new calculation method and the process by which it was created.

For more information please contact me during business hours Eastern Time at (301) 975-3025 or michael.newman@nist.gov.












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