Apartment buildings are the most common type of residence in Korea, but since the 1970s it was difficult to supply fresh air due to airtight exterior walls that were constructed with energy conservation in mind. In addition to this problem, Sick House Syndrome and Multi Chemical Sensitivity issues arose from having used petrochemical building materials and furniture that often emit volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde with high possibilities.
In order to solve the Sick House Syndrome, the Korean Ministry of Environment recently passed a law on ventilation standards and likewise on February 13. 2006 the Ministry of Construction and Transportation made it mandatory to install ventilation systems in apartment houses and multi-purpose facilities, as well as propagate the ventilation standard suitable for a particular type of building design.
The ventilation standard requires a 0.7 ACH for newly built or remodelling apartment buildings and apartment & stores complexes containing over 100 apartment houses.
Lately, researchon ventilation systems has become more widespread , and developments are being accelerated through technical cooperation between ventilation manufactures. The objective of this research and development is to meet the ventilation requirements as well as to pursue energy saving and sustainability by utilising mechanical and natural ventilation systems.
This paper briefly explains indoor air quality conditions of apartment buildings, the newly enacted regulation of ventilation and various ventilation systems available on the market in Korea.