Acceptable indoor air quality at reduced energy consumption for high-occupancy buildings with intermittent operation

Ismail Mohammed Budaiwi, Mohammed Alhaji Mohammed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In high-occupancy buildings with intermittent and short-occupancy events, occupants and their activities are the primary sources of contaminants, rendering continuous ventilation unnecessary for achieving acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ). Because the recommended ventilation rate constitutes a substantial percentage of the supply air, reducing or discontinuing ventilation during unoccupied periods saves significant energy. This study aims to assess the IAQ of high-occupancy buildings with different ventilation strategies and occupancy schemes to conserve energy using CONTAM (IAQ and ventilation analysis program) and Visual-DOE (energy analysis program). The results show that intermittently operating the ventilation 1 hour before occupancy saves 25% in the auditorium and 33% in the mosque compared to the continuous ventilation strategy. The intermittently operated strategy with ventilation 1 hour before occupancy also revealed an acceptable CO2 level (<1000ppm), while the Formaldehyde (HCHO) levels decreased with increasing ventilation rates, as humans’ contribution to the HCHO concentration indoors was insignificant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-258
Number of pages17
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) for their support in conducting this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • High occupancy buildings
  • contaminant
  • energy savings
  • indoor air quality
  • intermittent occupancy
  • ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture


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