Hvac Technologies and Indoor Air Quality - Airlab  (HVAC - AIRLAB)
The AirLab research group focuses on the science and technology of HVAC systems and of temperature, humidity and airborne pollutants control intended to obtain high levels of Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) in buildings. Great consideration is given to the nexus between IEQ and building systems energy efficiency and to improvements in the use of renewable energy sources and in Built environment sustainability,
Research Activities
The Research activities do cover:
1) Airborne pollutants and Indoor Air Quality, pollutants sources characterization, ventilation systems, filtration and air purification in buildings, in industrial processes and in cleanrooms.
2) Development and optimization of innovative HVAC equipment for evaporative cooling, for humidity control, for energy recovery and solar cooling.
3) Innovative design and optimization of the system “building envelope and HVAC equipment” comprising measurement techniques, assessment tools and simulation models.
4) Assessment of new refrigerants and their use in heat pumps and cooling systems and equipment.
5) Advancement in technologies deployable to protect artworks and cultural heritage by means of a temperature, humidity and airborne pollutants proper control.
Research methods and facilities
The research group pursues both experimental studies (in lab and on field) and conceptual design, simulation and optimization studies. AirLab research utilizes experimental and modelling competences, facilities and instruments. The existing research infrastructure encompass:
a) “Whitebox”, a “full-size” research cleanroom with high efficiency filtration, unidirectional airflow and precise temperature and humidity control;
b) “Bodybox” a test apparatus to measure the pollutant (both particles and airborne microbes) source emission rate (source strength). The measurements can focus both on people and on non-antropic sources;
c) “Filterbox” air handling unit to measure particle filter efficiency;
d) “ReDECX (Recuperator, Desiccant, Evaporative Cooling, eXchanger)” double air handling units to test evaporative equipment, adsorbent unit, heat exchanger, and energy recovery equipment;
e) Refrigeration circuit to test new refrigerant fluids and to assess The performance of innovative heat pump components;
f) “TracerGas” multi-point continuous dosing equipment, multi-point sequential air sampler connected to a photo-acustic infrared spectrometer monitor for trace gas analysis, air tightness and natural airflow in museum display cases and in buildings.
In order to make possible the test and research activities (in lab and on the field) AirLab has got a full set of sensor and instruments:
a) Laser Optical Particle Counters to measure dimensions and concentration of particles greater than 0.3 micron and indoor/outdoor sensor to measure PM10, PM2.5, PM1;
b) Active Microbiological Air Samplers for airborne microbiological (bacteria and fungi)contamination;
c) Thermogravimetric and Dynamic Vapor Sorption Analyzer (porous material water adsorption);
d) Hot Wire Anemometers, Balometer, Calibrated Orifice, air flow measurement and visualization;
e) Sensors of operative temperature, of mean radiant temperature and a full set of instruments to assess thermal comfort index (PMV, PPD).
On-going activities
a) Measurement of particle emission from professional singers and wind musical instruments in the frame of COVID-19 engineering risk control;
b) Study of railway car ventilation system role and possible sanitation measures in the context of COVID-19 ;
c) Airborne pollution control and prevention of pollutant deposition on artworks (Leonardo’s Last Supper Museum).

prof. Cesare Maria Joppolo
phone: +39 02 2399 3856
mail: cesare.joppolo(at)polimi.it


  • Cesare JOPPOLO
  • Federico PEDRANZINI
  • Francesco ROMANO

  • Rosemary COLCIAGHi – Research fellow

Research Group Laboratories
Air Lab
CECH-Climate and Energy in Cultural Heritage- Laboratorio interdipartimentale