“Towards Smart Ventilation” in Mid-sized buildings


This interactive session is a seminar/webinar chaired by Hilde Breesch, and co-chaired by Jelle Laverge, Ivan Verhaert, Douaa Al Assaad, Twan Van Hooff. It is an outcome of the collaborative work of the Flemish VLAIO Flux50 strategic basic research (SBO) project “Towards Smart Ventilation in mid-sized buildings” and the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme (EBC)’s Annex 86 for energy efficient IAQ management strategies. The objective of this seminar is to have an interactive discussion between HVAC experts and building designers on the requirements of highly energy-efficient “Smart Ventilation” systems in mid-sized buildings. Such systems can continually adjust their operation to provide the desired indoor air quality (IAQ) while minimizing energy use, utility bills, thermal discomfort and noise. They should also be responsive to e.g., occupancy shifts, dynamic outdoor conditions, contaminants’ sources and can provide information about e.g., IAQ, energy use.

For mid-sized buildings, where the system complexity exceeds the typical ‘all-in-one-box’ solutions that are available for single-family dwellings, the design of ventilation systems is very conservative and inefficient. Moreover, no method exists today to select the most optimal system and room layout in a specific building based on a coherent set of indicators. This interactive session will aim to address the knowledge gap by presenting a performance assessment framework consisting of a general economic indicator. The indicator can be integrated as an objective function in the design optimization of air distribution networks. The indicator is tailored for different room types, and IEQ parameters (acoustics, resilience, occupant behaviour, sleep).

The use of a global economic indicator is an improvement on the current ventilation design methods, which are driven by minimum requirements for IAQ, energy consumption and/or investment costs. The key takeaway from this seminar is to acknowledge the importance of establishing such an assessment framework for ventilation systems in mid-sized buildings. This seminar will allow participants to interact, through polls and room discussions on the research objectives, methods as well as the possible outcomes and valorization paths.


  • Present to building experts and audience the need for smart and energy efficient ventilation strategies in mid-sized buildings
  • Present the performance assessment approach of smart ventilation strategies based on the development of metrics (related to acoustics, resilience, user satisfaction) and the aggregation of said metrics into one general indicator used for optimization
  • Discuss the use of the aggregated performance framework in the optimization of the ventilation design
  • Present and discuss with the audience the valorization paths of the project


  • Project contents, objectives and structure, organization and work plan – Hilde Breesch, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • General economic indicator for performance assessment of smart ventilation systems – Jelle Laverge, University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Occupant-centric control in non-residential buildings –Quinten Carton, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Discussion with the attendees


  • Hilde Breesch, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Jelle Laverge, Ghent University, Belgium


  • 75 minutes