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Coordinator: Stefano Avesani Eurac Research
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Manager: Gloria Peasso Eurac Research

New test on ventilation machine and prefab balconies at Eurac Research outdoor lab

Since October 2022, Since October 2022, Eurac Research’s “Façade System Interactions Lab” has been equipped with the H2020 INFINITE Energy and Fresh Air Kit, an all-in-one solution that provides heating, cooling, and fresh air.

installation prefab wooden facade eurac lab
Installation of balcony prototype at Eurac Research’s outdoor façade lab

Over the past several months, the research team has been closely monitoring the performances of the prefabricated envelope and ventilation unit, and assessing the indoor comfort, connected with its regulation strategy. Specific acoustic tests were performed to evaluate its noise and vibrations profile.

Recently, Eurac Research and Vortice Spa conducted a series of new tests on the ventilation unit. These tests were aimed at assessing the unit’s accessibility for repairs and maintenance, as well as ensuring its efficiency in the final configuration.

The first test evaluated the eventual air leakages of the plant distribution system. The test aims to better understand the weaknesses of the ventilation system as a whole, with its ducts and connection points, integrated into a prefabricated façade. On the second day, the test assessed the time and accessibility required for routine and extraordinary maintenance operations of the ventilation unit. The cleaning of filters for routine maintenance was found to be a fast activity that can be carried out by building owners or residents themselves. Even the mock-up extraordinary maintenance test took up a rather short time: considering that this kind of maintenance is needed only every four years, it will result a cost-effective solution. 

Lastly, the ventilation unit was moved to a new configuration, integrated into the parapet of the prefab balconies: this is the actual configuration in the Italian demo case.

The prototype balconies were swiftly installed on one of the façades by Rubner, who manufactured all of the timber prefabricated elements, and Vortice Spa experts completed the work by fixing the duct connections for the new configuration, as well as finishing and insulation. The ventilation unit was equipped with sensors to collect data and measure the indoor comfort, the air tightness, the machine and envelope performance, as well as the risk of the formation of condensation. As it is fully outdoor, integrated in the parapet, the good insulation of the machine must be ensured.

Researchers expect to gain their first insights in May 2023, in preparation for the actual installation on the Italian demo building.


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