The Building Energy and Environments test house (UTest House) is a unique facility and one of only a few in the world dedicated solely to indoor environments research. It is extensively used for full scale experiments and analysis of energy usage and indoor air quality in an integrated residential setting. The 120 m2 UTest House includes a control room, a wide range of internal and envelope sensors for measuring pressure distributions, remote data acquisition capabilities, and more.

The UTest House is in almost continuous use by the Building Energy and Environments community, primarily for research but also for educational demonstrations. Capabilities and examples of recent studies include:

  • Scale-up testing of a wide range of laboratory results
  • Effects of local meteorological conditions on outdoor-indoor air exchange rates
  • Internal air flow distributions under various wind loadings and house operating conditions
  • Effects of HVAC filters on indoor particle removal and energy usage
  • Effectiveness of placement strategies for portable air purifiers
  • Applications of novel materials for passively removing pollutants from indoor air
  • In-closet desorption of toxic chemicals from contaminated clothing
  • Ozone transport to and reactions with interior and exterior building materials