Architects Design LEED certified buildings not with the sole purpose of being green or environmentally friendly, but with a purpose to provide good air quality to the residents as well. Temperature and humidity is an important thing to keep controlled, reason being is it allows residents to be comfortable. A humidity level too high and it could make one feel sticky, too low and you will get bloody noses and scratchy throat.
Not only does having high humidity levels have an effect on humans but it has a huge effect on a building itself. Living in a building with high humidity levels could mean that mold could start to develop on walls which could have a negative effect on people with asthma. Having a moist environment invites little critters like cockroaches to live in the building, making mold and cockroaches has an immensely negative effect on the building and how it operates. The building is suppose to offer high air quality, instead they intake air with particles that could have a negative effect on them, especially people with asthma.
Looking more in depth into the data I found several interesting trends. The first one and most obvious on was an ongoing day by day trend that I found in the Ohio building. I noticed that through the month there were more temperature fluctuations during the day as opposed to the Homan building not much temperature fluctuation was going on. This brought me to conclude that possibly there was someone in the house through the whole day.
Finding this trend made me look closer at the Homan data to see if I could find some similar trends. One thing I noticed in the human building was that during the transition between Sundays and Mondays there was not a lot of temperature fluctuations during the night. Another thing I found out as well was that during Tuesday night and Wednesday night there was a lot of temperature fluctuation and this didn’t only happen once, it was throughout the whole month of February. This trend made it clear of how human behavior has an impact on the sensors. Although we don’t know for sure what was going on within the units, this is a clear sign of human behavior that affects the sensors.
The more technical and harder to comprehend trends were actually the easiest to spot out. Our understanding of temperature and humidity was that one was directly correlated to the other this means that as the temperature in building raises the humidity should raise as well. In the Ohio building I found out that this wasn’t necessarily true. I notice that as temperature went up the humidity levels would drop. This was more than often the case although there were some direct correlations between the temperature and humidity the inverse action was most common.
Finding that trend in the Ohio building made me look to see if it was the same case in the Homan building, but instead I found out that this was not the case for the Homan building. As temperature raised humidity raised as well, this was the case for the most part. When I made a comment to Jeff about this finding, he gave me an explanation as to why this might happen. He explained to me how the heating systems for both buildings are different and why these trends actually make sense. In the Ohio building as new air comes into the building from the outside it’s not being humidified, resulting in a humidity decrease as hot new air is being blasted into the unit. The reason why the levels in temperature and humidity relate more in the Homan building is due to the Energy Recovery System (ERV). This system allows the used warm air that is being exhausted to bypass the new incoming cold air. When the air bypasses each other not only does it transfer some heat of the used air to the new air but the chamber also allows moisture to be transferred. When Jeff told me about the two systems it made perfect sense, and also he was glad I found this trend because they didn’t really know if the system was actually working, and with this trend it’s obvious that the system was indeed transferring moisture as its suppose to.
Other things I found while looking at the data were some unexplainable peeks of extremely high humidity and some bone chilling low peeks of zero degrees Fahrenheit. These type of findings are the ones that bring up more questions. What was going on with the sensor that this happen or why did the sensor malfunction?
Taking apart the data and looking at it more in depth brought up more questions rather than answers. With this data we now are able to set the next stepping stone for next year’s airLab team.