Many buildings in the world reportedly use natural ventilation, but it is hard to have reliable information regarding the performance of the systems as well as the thermal comfort conditions at which the occupants are exposed if –big if– natural ventilation is actually ever used in those buildings.
Natural Ventilation in Europe
We begin our case studies section chronologically. First, we present the work of Brian Dean (SMBT ’01), an alumnus of our research group who set off to Europe to understand how come Europeans are designing far more naturally ventilated buildings than Americans, and find ways to successfully implement natural ventilation in the US. (Find his thesis here.)
He visited several buildings in Denmark, Genrmany, the Netherlands and the UK (some of them pretty famous, like the Commerzbank building in Frankfurt, and WindowMaster headquarters in Vedbaek), interviewed facilities staff and occupants, and took a very close look of the components of each system. His trip is thoroughly documented in the following link, and strongly recommend visiting it.
Design of a Naturally Ventilated Building in Tokyo
Since 2008, our research group was involved in assisting the design of the natural ventilation (and daylighting) system of the new HULIC Co, Ltd headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. We were invited to the project by HULIC itself (one of Japan’s largest real estate developers) to collaborate with the Nikken Sekkei architecture team and achieve a building design that: maximized the use of natural ventilation, that combined engineering and architecture to reach both aesthetic and performance goals, and than ensured uniform occupant comfort throughout the natural ventilation season. The building was built and occupied in 2012, and we also worked on monitoring the system’s performance post-occupancy.
Monitoring of the Artists for Humanity Building in Boston
The Artists for Humanity building in Boston is one of the only (post-AC existence) buildings in the city that was designed to be cooled purely by using natural ventilation. In 2012 we monitored the performance of its natural ventilation system, to understand which aspects of the building design and operation help or hinder the cooling power of natural ventilation.