BB boys visit Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh
Breathing Buildings Engineers Owen Connick, Nick Wise and James Wilshaw spent two days at the CIBSE Technical Symposium, hosted by Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.
CIBSE Journal Article - April 2016
In the latest edition of CIBSE Journal, Breathing Buildings CEO Dr Shaun Fitzgerald discusses how the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) has invested more than £5bn into UK ...
Find out how an e-stack system provides energy efficient natural ventilation.
Calculate the equipment and openings required to ventilate your building.
Comprehensive design support for your project.
Natural & Energy Efficient Ventilation
Natural ventilation is an important consideration for all new buildings. Good air circulation ensures that occupants are comfortable and it is required as part of the Building Regulations Part F. Additionally, with the environment and cost of energy both being areas of concern, any system should provide energy-efficient ventilation.
Breathing Buildings has developed the e-stack natural
ventilation system. It is an ideal, energy-efficient ventilation
solution for use in new buildings and has proved especially
effective in schools and universities. An award-winning system,
e-stack natural ventilation consistently reduces CO2 levels, while
helping to maintain a constant room temperature. With better air
quality, the occupants can work more efficiently and their
concentration levels are generally increased. Additionally, as the
e-stack provides extremely energy-efficient ventilation, it will
help save money on power bills and reduce the building's carbon
footprint. How does e-stack natural ventilation work? e-stack
energy-efficient ventilation utilises a combination of natural
ventilation methods to keep buildings full of fresh, clean air
throughout the year. This energy-efficient ventilation system uses
upward displacement in the summer and natural mixing ventilation in
the winter. For buildings with large thermal masses, e-stack
natural ventilation can be used in conjunction with passive
night-cooling to further increase the efficacy of the system.
Additionally, low-energy fans can be used to enhance the flow of
air, ensuring that this energy-efficient ventilation system
functions reliably in all situations. The e-stack low-energy
ventilation system is controlled by a programmable logic controller
and it automatically switches on when pre-set levels in temperature
or CO2 levels are reached. What options are available with e-stack
energy-efficient ventilation? e-stack natural ventilation systems
are available in four different designs. The right choice will
depend on the structure of your building. The A-Series is
designed to provide natural ventilation for buildings with atria.
It is suitable for both single- and multi-storey buildings and it
utilises high-level vents and windows to facilitate the
energy-efficient ventilation. The F-Series is facade-based
natural ventilation. This option is for use in rooms that are at
least 3.5m in height and which have access to an external wall.
Additionally, this energy-efficient ventilation option requires a
sloped roof and high-level windows. For rooms that have access to
the exterior via the roof, and with occupancy levels of ten to 30
people, the R-Series is the right choice for natural
ventilation. This system uses a rectangular shaft that is
subdivided to mix fresh air with internal air, providing
energy-efficient ventilation to the room. The S-Series of
energy-efficient ventilation works in a way similar to the
R-Series, but provides natural ventilation for rooms with occupancy
of more than 30 people. Is e-stack natural ventilation right for
your building project? Breathing Buildings was established in 2006
after developing a proprietary low-energy natural ventilation unit
at the University of Cambridge. Today, e-stack energy-efficient
ventilation has been installed in over 20 schools and colleges
around the UK. Systems have also been designed for
other projects, including auditoria, shopping malls,
multi-storey office buildings, theatres and apartment buildings. To
find out more about e-stack natural ventilation, contact us
today. We'll be happy to discuss your requirements and help you
decide if e-stack is the solution to your energy-efficient
ventilation needs. You can also use our online design tool to
find out how the e-stack natural ventilation system could be used
in your next project to provide energy-efficient ventilation. Be
sure to also check our news section to find out more about the
latest developments in natural ventilation and energy-efficient
ventilation. We'll also update the section with our most recent
press releases. Breathing Buildings was formed as a spin out
company from the University of Cambridge in 2006, following the
discovery and development of the proprietary low energy e-stack
mixing ventilation system as part of a major research programme at
the BP Institute, through the Cambridge-MIT Institute, with funding
from BP plc. The technology was filed for patent by the University
of Cambridge, and Breathing Buildings has exclusive rights to the
technology. Breathing Buildings was set up to develop and
commercialise this low energy ventilation system. During 2006-07
prototypes of the system were developed and tested in the Breathing
Buildings laboratories, with a team of highly qualified ventilation
experts. The value and potential of the innovation has been
recognised by several awards for innovation. Furthermore, since the
e-stack system was commercially introduced in 2007, the success of
the product and associated consultancy has been recognised by
industry via an increasing number of awards. Already e-stack
systems are operating in over 20 different schools in the UK, and
there is a substantial pipeline of new school projects for which
Breathing Buildings is actively engaged in supplying e-stack
systems. The Breathing Buildings team contributes significantly to
research into natural ventilation. Our links with the University of
Cambridge research team at the BP Institute are very strong.
Click here for a reference list of background useful papers
Natural ventilation: Breath life into your
Refresh your building with a natural ventilation
As buildings become more contemporary in their design,
sustainable strategies, such as natural ventilation, are becoming
increasingly important to a structure's core principles.
Not only does such an approach allow for a building to use 60
per cent less energy, it also drastically improves the air quality
for the occupants within.
Add to this that fact that the coalition government wants to
reduce that amount of carbon emissions produced by UK, and it's
easy to see why more architects are now embracing this green
How does it work?
Natural ventilation takes advantage of both wind and buoyancy in
order to drive fresh air through a building. This removes the need
for the use of intensive fans - which can often be expensive in
terms of energy use and installation.
Using the 'stack effect' this ventilation method makes use of
the fact that warm air rises above cold air. Naturally ventilated
buildings can utilise this so that an atrium allows warm air from
an occupied space to rise and escape through vents situated at the
top of the building.
Why use it?
For a start, it costs less to use than some other ventilation
methods. By making use of natural elements like the wind these
sustainable systems can lead to much cheaper energy bills. In fact,
a naturally ventilated building can save an average of £30,000 a
year on energy, according to a Carbon Trust case study.
The fact that your buildings will use less energy with a natural
ventilation system also means that the amount of carbon emissions
that it produces will be significantly reduced as well. And with
building's contributing to just under half of the UK's total carbon
gases, tackling this issue will greatly benefit the environment on
a wider scale.
Research, carried out by the Carbon Trust, found that the
majority of buildings that utilised natural ventilation saved
between 24 per cent and 71 per cent of carbon emissions.
Another added positive of natural ventilation is that it can
require much less maintenance than air conditioning. What's more,
it gives a building's occupants more control over their surrounding
environment, as well as making them more comfortable.
Educational establishments can greatly benefit from the supply
of fresh air as research from the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory suggests it can reduce the rate of student absence by
illness by approximately 3.4 per cent.
A versatile solution
Most occupied buildings can accommodate for a natural
ventilation system. It can work on its own or with other
energy-efficient ventilation techniques that a building may have in
place. Offices, schools, universities, health care centres and
council buildings can all make use of this type of sustainable
Although it is best to integrate natural ventilation at the
earliest possible stage, it can be introduced as a part of a
retrofitting project, meaning that existing buildings can still
benefit from it on some level.
So now you are aware of the benefits that natural ventilation
can offer, what's stopping you from joining the green
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