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Natural Ventilation in Built Environment

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Definition of the Subject

Natural ventilation uses the natural forces of wind and buoyancy to introduce fresh air and distribute it effectively in buildings for the benefit of the occupants. Fresh air is required to achieve a healthy, fresh, and comfortable indoor environment for people to work and live in. Natural ventilation can ensure or support the supply of adequate breathing air, adequate ventilation of contaminants, adequate thermal conditioning and moisture dissipation, and contribute to well-being through a connection to the dynamics of nature. For natural ventilation to be effective, there has to be a close relationship between the architecture and the air circulation system. This includes the relationship between the built form, the site environment in a particular location, and the layout within the building.

The Natural History Museum in London, designed by Alfred Waterhouse in the Victorian age, is an excellent example of design for natural ventilation. The architect...

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Natural Ventilation in Built Environment. Figure 1
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Abbreviations

Air changes per hour (ACH):

The volumetric flow rate of supply air, divided by the volume of the ventilated space.

Advanced natural ventilation system (ANV):

Integration of basic natural ventilation strategies such as cross ventilation and stack effect with smart controls.

BEMS:

Building energy management system.

BREEAM:

Building research establishment environmental assessment method – UK origin.

Exfiltration/infiltration:

Air flow through unintended leakages out/into buildings.

Hybrid ventilation:

Combined natural and mechanical ventilation (also called mixed-mode ventilation).

Indoor air quality (IAQ):

Indoor Air Quality – broadly defined by the purity of the air but often CO2is used as an indicator.

Mixed-mode ventilation:

See hybrid ventilation.

Natural ventilation:

Use of natural forces, i.e., pressure differences generated by wind or air temperature, to introduce and distribute outdoor air into or out of a buildings.

Night cooling:

The use of night air to cool the building using wind towers or a fan to circulate the air.

PAQ:

Perceived air quality.

Thermal comfort:

The state of mind that expresses satisfaction with the surrounding thermal environment.

Ventilation:

Provides fresh air into a building to ensure good air quality for occupant health and well-being.

Ventilation effectiveness:

The ability of a ventilation system to exchange the air in the room and also the ability to remove airborne contaminants.

Ventilation flow rate:

The amount of air per unit time into the ventilated space (liter per second or l/s, cubic meters per hour or m3/h).

Well-being:

Healthy mind and body.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Lee Hargreaves (WSP, UK Ltd.) for his help with researching and organizing some case studies; Mike Beaven of Arup Associates for some case studies; Matt Kitson (Hilson Moran) for providing Gherkin images; Professor Vivian Loftness (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) for providing architectural images and Fig. 21; Beifan Yang and Bin Zhang (Tianjin Weland Landscape Architecture Design Co, Ltd. China) for the architectural drawings; Jin Zhang (JINT Design Consultants Ltd.) for architectural sketch; and Dr Malcolm Cook (Loughborough University) for providing the images of Queens Building.

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Correspondence to Tong Yang or Derek J. Clements-Croome .

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Yang, T., Clements-Croome, D.J. (2012). Natural Ventilation in Built Environment . In: Meyers, R.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_488

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