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Describes the climatic characteristics of cold-climate regions in Japan. Building construction and performance, housing equipment, indoor climate, and energy consumption of dwellings in the cold-climate regions are discussed with reference to the literature. As newly constructed houses in Japan become more highly insulated and airtight, the indoor thermal environment is being improved. However, many problems have arisen in airtight houses related to indoor air pollution, reverse flow due to negative pressure, and vapour condensation. In order to solve such problems, it is necessary to provide guidelines for the optimum combination of housing equipment adequate to the airtightness level of a house, to develop programmes for ventilation design, and to transfer technical information to end-users, designers, and builders.

KEYWORDS: designing, housing, cold regions, Japan, climate, buildings, construction, performance, energy consumption, low energy housing, air tightness, air quality, air pollution, indoor, ventilation, thermal comfort, relative humidity.

Citation: Symposium, ASHRAE Transactions, vol.97, Pt. 1, New York 1991