Heat recovery systems are an ideal solution for offices. The necessary ventilation requirements can be fulfilled with great savings in heating costs. For airtight buildings about 30% on heating can be saved.
Adequate ventilation is an important factor to avoid drowsiness and lack of concentration. On the other hand should cold drafts be avoided, which can cause sickness.
In comparison with air conditioning for offices, HRV systems use only little energy and don’t re-cycle any air, which can have health implications, if the air conditioning system is not serviced regularly. HRV systems often provide no active cooling, as AC systems do. This again lowers the energy demand, but makes it necessary that the architectural design shields the building from excessive solar gains, e.g. by natural summer shading. Paul HRV systems come with an automated summer bypass, that brings in un-pre-heated air from the outside when the internal temperatures exceed a certain threshold. The system goes back in heat recovery mode when the temperatures drop below the threshold.
Several Passive House offices have been built in the UK in recent years, some of them with Paul Maxi HRV systems. The feedback shows that the temperatures remain comfortable in summer, if the ventilation is high enough.
The ventilation requirement is mostly depending on the number of people the office is designed for. A guideline value for the fresh air supply is 30-36 m3/h per person. The Maxi range of HRV systems are available for 800, 1200, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 m3/h maximum ventilation rate. For larger offices, more HRV units can be installed. A detailed ventilation planning is necessary, which is best done in the early design stages.
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