Research by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and others suggest that this conventional corridor ventilation strategy is neither effective nor efficient. These studies concluded that over 30 per cent of the corridor ventilation air never makes it into individual suites. This waste of ventilated air is very important, since ventilation and air leakage accounts for up to 50 per cent of the heating and cooling energy use in high-rise buildings.
The research also found that exterior building envelopes have gotten much tighter as the result of efforts to minimize water intrusion and individual suites are much tighter because of improvements in fire and smoke control measures. In recent years the addition of individual suite clothes dryers and larger range hoods has meant a greater depressurization of suites and a requirement for larger make-up air capacities. As well, occupants have increasing expectations for noise, odour, humidity and temperature control.
In light of this research, the most progressive and energy conscious designers and building owners are implementing two complimentary strategies. The first is to compartmentalize suites to make them even tighter. The second is modifying fresh air ventilation strategies to ensure fresh air is delivered directly to suites and incorporating energy recovery into the system design.