Impact of a Compartmentalization and Ventilation System Retrofit Strategy on Energy Use in High-Rise Residential Buildings

This project evaluated the energy savings associated with suite compartmentalization and in-suite ventilation systems retrofits in a high-rise residential building.

Status: Completed

Research themes: Energy and GHG emissions

Research areas: Solutions for air leakage, ventilation and filtration; Building design and retrofits for performance improvement

Project Objective

This project investigated how converting a high-rise multi-unit residential building from a centralized, pressurized corridor ventilation system to suite-based compartmentalization and in-suite ventilation systems (ISVSs) impacts building energy use.


EnergyPlus was used to simulate the base case building with central ventilation and the retrofitted building with air tight suite doors and ISVS.


The model showed that annual heating energy could potentially be reduced by half through implementation of this retrofit, demonstrating that a combined compartmentalization/ISVS retrofit can yield similar energy savings compared with a cladding retrofit.


Journal Publications
  • Carlsson, M., Touchie, M.F., Richman, R.C. “Investigating the potential impact of a compartmentalization and ventilation system retrofit strategy on energy use in high-rise residential buildings,” Energy and Buildings, 199 (2019) pp.20-28. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.06.035

  • Carlsson, M.R., Touchie, M.F., Richman, R. “A Compartmentalization & Ventilation System Retrofit Strategy for High-Rise Residential Buildings in Cold Climates,” Energy Procedia 132 (2017) pp. 867-872. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.09.682

Conference Publications
  • Berquist, J., Touchie, M.F., O’Brien, W. “Modelling of heat and energy recovery ventilators in cold climates using EnergyPlus and TRNSYS” in the ASHRAE and SCANVAC HVAC Cold Climate Conference 2023, Anchorage, AK, March 6-8, 2023

People Involved

Dr. Marianne Touchie

Dr. Marianne Touchie

Principal Investigator

Dr. Russell Richman

Dr. Russell Richman


Project Partners