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