Building Science Projects

BrHEAThe Development & Evaluation

BrHEAThe is a combined heating and ventilation system designed at CCHRC for providing space heating, domestic hot water, and fresh air for small, airtight, and energy efficient homes. The main goal of BrHEAThe is to ensure adequate indoor air quality – by tying ventilation to the heating system, BrHEAThe ensures that fresh air is never uncomfortably cold, which otherwise could cause residents to close off supply vents.
BrHEAThe was first installed in an Anaktuvuk Pass residence in 2011, and since then versions of BrHEAThe have been installed in over 25 houses throughout Alaska. Researchers and designers are continually gathering feedback on the system in order to improve it, and the BrHEAThe systems of today now look very different from the first system. CCHRC has also conducted a formal evaluation of BrHEAThe and has investigated tying in an air source heat pump into the system to reduce energy costs for residents. Finally, CCHRC has created several materials to help homeowners learn to operate and maintain their BrHEAThe system. The history of BrHEAThe and information on its evaluation is documented in an article published in the proceedings of the 4th Residential Building Design and Construction Conference in 2018.
Air Source Heat Pumps with Combined Heating & Ventilation (BrHEAThe): Researchers studied how to integrate an ASHP into a combined heating and ventilation system that is used in high-efficiency homes in Alaska. This built on the original BrHEAThe System, which uses an HRV to deliver heat from an oil-fired boiler to ensure homes receive adequate fresh air. CanmetENERGY-Ottawa funded this research.


TitleTypeResource Link
ASCE Journal of Architectural Engineering: Providing Healthy Air and Efficient Heating for Rural Alaska Homes with the BrHEAThe System

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BrHEAThe System Instruction VideoVideos

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BrHEAThe System Maintenance Directions (English)


BrHEAThe System Maintenance Directions (Yupik)


BrHEAThe System ManualReports


BrHEAThe System SnapshotSnapshots


BrHEAThe System with Air Source Heat Pump-Feasibility StudyReports


BrHEAThe System with Air Source Heat Pump-Lab StudyReports


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