E.Vent – Efficient, cost-effective and low-maintenance central ventilation systems for multi-family housing – Design, operation and fire protection measures

Die Synopsis ist eine drei- bis vierzeilige Beschreibung des Projektinhalts alsErgänzung zum Titel und nähere Erläuterung des Projekts.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Previous and ongoing projects have shown that more research is needed to optimize a cost efficient realization and operation of central ventilation systems. Due to increased complexity and costs resulting from the required fire protection measures, e.g. the installation and periodic maintenance of numerous fire protection flaps, building projects are often realized with sub-optimal ventilation solutions.

Potential benefits of central ventilation systems (less space requirement in the apartments, better sound insulation etc.) remain unexploited due to the lack of cost-effective, replicable and approved fire protection concepts. The other crucial issue in the operation of central ventilation systems is related to flow control. #

If the balance between supply and extract air volume flow is not continuously ensured, the actual heat recovery efficiency of a ventilation unit can significantly decrease during operation compared to the test-bench value. Such a flow imbalance can lead to further negative consequences, such as building damage, odor transfer between apartment units and a reduction of comfort.

Contents and goals

Therefore this project aims to provide innovative solutions to ensure fire safety and provide continuous flow balance for centralized ventilation systems.

Novel concepts for new installations and for retrofitting existing systems (for flow balancing) will be developed, evaluated and tested in practice, with a clear focus on the reduction of costs related to investment, installation and operation.

Beside technological and conceptual solutions, planning recommendations and guidelines to support the design of efficient central ventilation system will be delivered.


By analyzing the state of the art in existing installations (typically applied fire protection concepts, measuring the actual flow imbalance) the optimization potential will be identified and specific solutions will be defined. Exemplary fire protection concepts, which have already received approval in individual cases will be documented and adapted accordingly for their general implementation in other projects.

At the same time, technological solutions for an optimized flow balance control will be developed and tested for new and existing (retrofit) ventilation systems. Potential synergies with fire safety measures will be investigated and functional models combining flow balance control and smoke barrier will be mocked up and tested.

Expected results

Based on the results, this project will deliver online available planning recommendations in order to support architects and planners in the integrated design of a central ventilation system. Algorithms which characterize space requirement, airflow rate and pressure drop in the early design-phase will be developed and implemented in a 3D graphic tool.

The developed fire protection concepts will be implemented and tested within real building projects. The associated maintenance and life cycle costs will be determined and documented, including a comparison with the life cycle costs of other flow balancing solutions.

Project Partners

Project management

Universität Innsbruck, Arbeitsbereich Energieeffizientes Bauen EEB

Project or cooperation partners

  • AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien (AEE INTEC)
  • J. PICHLER Gesellschaft m.b.H. (Pichler)
  • Innsbruck Immobilien Gesellschaft (IIG)
  • Neue Heimat Tirol (NHT)
  • Gemeinnützige Alpenländische Gesellschaft für Wohnungsbau und Siedlungswesen m.b.H. (GWS)
  • Alpsolar Klimadesign OG (AlpSolar)
  • Passivhaus Institut – Standort Innsbruck (PHI-IBK)

Contact Address

Assoz. Prof. Dr. Rainer Pfluger
Technikerstrasse 13
A-6020 Innsbruck
Tel.: +43 (512) 507-63602
E-Mail: Rainer.pfluger@uibk.ac.at
Web: https://www.uibk.ac.at/bauphysik/,
Web: https://www.uibk.ac.at/bauphysik/forschung/