Energy impact assessment for the reduction of carbon dioxide and formaldehyde exposure risk in air-conditioned offices

K. W. Mui, L. T. Wong*, W. Y. Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment of fresh air in ventilation systems for air-conditioning consumes a considerable amount of energy and affects the indoor air quality (IAQ). In this study, energy impact on ventilation systems was examined against certain IAQ objectives for indoor formaldehyde exposure risk in air-conditioned offices of Hong Kong. Thermal energy consumptions for ventilation systems and indoor formaldehyde exposure concentrations based on some regional surveys of typical offices in Hong Kong were reviewed. The thermal energy consumptions of ventilation systems operating for CO2 exposure concentrations between 800 ppmv and 1200 ppmv for typical office buildings and the corresponding formaldehyde exposure risks were evaluated. The results showed that, for a reference indoor environment at a CO2 exposure concentration of 1000 ppmv, the average thermal energy saving of ventilation system for a unit increment of the acceptable formaldehyde exposure limit of 1 h (loss of life expectancy of 0.0417 day) was 280 MJ m-2 yr-1; and for a unit decrement of the exposure limit of 1 h, an additional average thermal energy consumption of 480 MJ m-2 yr-1 was expected. This study would be a useful source of reference in evaluation of the energy performance of ventilation strategies in air-conditioned offices at a quantified exposure risk of formaldehyde.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1418
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number8
Early online date17 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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