Ventilation standard DIN 1946-6

The fresh air supply to living areas and buildings is a topic that is steadily gaining importance, particularly in view of the modern, energy-efficient construction methods used today. An updated version of the ventilation standard DIN 1946-6 was therefore published after a lengthy revision phase. The goals of the ventilation standards focus on the following key points:

  • Definition of limits and calculation methods for the necessary minimum air exchange rate requirements
  • Definition of a verification method (ventilation concept) to determine whether a ventilation measure is necessary for a building or not
  • The ventilation concept is also to be used to determine how the ventilation measure is to be implemented: manually by the residents or with the aid of a ventilation system.

When is the preparation of a ventilation concept acc. DIN 1946-6 required?

The Energy Saving Regulation specifies in § 6 that a ventilation concept acc. DIN 1946-6 has to be prepared for all new buildings. In the event of a refurbishment project a ventilation concept has also to be developed if, in detached family houses and apartment houses, more than a third of all windows are replaced or a new roof insulation is provided for more than a third of the roof area. The ventilation concept is the responsibility of the owner who always has to commission this work.

Core element of the DIN 1946-6: Distinction of four ventilation levels

1. Ventilation for moisture proofing 

This ventilation level is to ensure adequate ventilation of the building as a function of the respective thermal insulation level. The aim is to avoid damage to the building caused by moisture, also during temporary absence of the residents and reduced moisture loads. This ventilation has to be ensured at all times and is user-independent.

2. Reduced ventilation

This ventilation level is also practically user-independent. In this case, the minimum hygienic standard and protection of the building is to be ensured during short-term absence of the residents (daily work etc.).

3. Nominal ventilation

Under normal use conditions the nominal ventilation describes the minimum air exchange rate required for maintaining hygienic and health standards as well as for the protection of the building. Nominal ventilation can, in some cases, include the residents’ proactive participation in window ventilation measures.

4. Intense ventilation

Intense ventilation is aimed to remove peak loads caused by cooking, washing etc. The resident can also be proactively engaged in this ventilation level by opening windows.

The level of insulation and the location of the building are also included in the calculation basics for the ventilation levels acc. DIN 1946-6. In this way, any leaks in the building envelope are detected, expected loads based on the usable floor space are taken into account and the natural air infiltration is estimated using the wind load.

If, according to the ventilation concept, the natural air supply is seen as being inadequate for a ventilation that will ensure protection against moisture, the responsible designers have to provide additional ventilation measures.

In addition, the new DIN 1946-6 provides the designer with legal certainty in decisive issues. Some issues, however, have still been omitted. For example, it is not possible to define the amount of active window ventilation that can be expected from a resident who works fulltime. It is also a problem accounting for different overall weather conditions, such as mild winters or spring and autumn as transitional seasons. This is because in some weather conditions, or under severe temperature fluctuations, a complete air exchange may be necessary several times a day.

Who is to prepare ventilation concepts according to the Ventilation Standard DIN 1946-6

A ventilation concept can be prepared by any specialist who plans and carries out ventilation measures or repair work, or who is active in the planning and modernisation of buildings. Planning tools for a ventilation concept acc. DIN 1946-6 can be downloaded from the internet (e.g.:

The ventilation concept is the responsibility of the owner who always has to commission this work

You will find tips and further information on proactive ventilation in living areas on our Info Page Window ventilation.