Krisztina Szirtesi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Anikó Angyal2, Zoltán Szoboszlai2, Enikő Furu1,2, Zsófia Török1,2, Titusz Igaz1, Zsófia Kertész1,2

University of Debrecen, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary
Laboratory of Ion Beam Applications, Institute for Nuclear Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA Atomki), H-4026 Debrecen, Hungary


Received: May 3, 2017
Revised: December 9, 2017
Accepted: December 29, 2017
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Cite this article:

Szirtesi, K., Angyal, A., Szoboszlai, Z., Furu, E., Török, Z., Igaz, T. and Kertész, Z. (2018). Airborne Particulate Matter: An Investigation of Buildings with Passive House Technology in Hungary. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 18: 1282-1293.


  • Indoor aerosol pollution was studied in energy efficient and conventional buildings.
  • Mass concentration, mass size distribution, and elemental composition were defined.
  • The results were investigated according to the ventilation modes.
  • The indoor air quality was not better in energy efficient houses than in other ones.
  • Further aerosol particulate matter research on buildings with MVHR is needed.


In this case study, we investigate the building infiltration rate and indoor aerosol concentration levels in two buildings equipped with passive house technology and one “conventional” house in Ócsa, Hungary. We have aimed to determine the indoor aerosol pollution level and its elemental composition, establish the relationship between the indoor and outdoor concentration levels, and study how the different ventilation rates and modes affect the indoor particulate matter (PM) contamination. Our results indicate that the measured PM concentration levels were well below the recommended limits overall. In particular, the mean PMfine (aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 µm) concentration was around 5 µg m–3 while the outdoor PMfine level was 20 µg m–3. The mean indoor concentration of the coarse fraction aerosols (aerodynamic diameter > 2.5 µm) varied between 2.5 and 7 µg m–3, with higher values corresponding to better airtightness of the house. As assessed by the indoor/outdoor elemental ratios and mass size distribution data, the filtration of the coarse mode particles was adequate in the passive houses. However, the PMfine fraction could get through the filters unhindered, as indicated by PMfine levels independent of the ventilation modes. The coarse mode particles inside the passive houses mainly originated from indoor sources.

Keywords: Passive House; Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery; Indoor air quality; Airborne particulate matter; Elemental composition of PM.


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