Natural Ventilation

Topics to be covered: Basics of wind-driven and buoyancy-driven ventilation. Use of thermal mass and night cooling. Assisted natural ventilation. The use of airflow network tools and external/internal CFD to assess natural ventilation potential. Basics of controls in a naturally ventilated building.
Course objectives and outcomes: The main goal of this course is to provide the designer with a good intuition regarding the performance of a natural ventilation system, based on weather conditions and building orientation, geometry, materials and operation. During the course of six weeks, the seminar will cover the basics of natural ventilation, back of the envelope calculations to maximize the airflow through a space, and computational tools to assess the natural ventilation potential of a building.
At the end of this course, the student is expected to:

  • Understand the physical fundamentals of natural ventilation
  • Be able to apply these fundamentals to practical design problems
  • Understand the usefulness and limitations of airflow network tools and internal/external CFD to assess the natural ventilation potential of a building
  • Recognize design opportunities to use natural ventilation

The seminar will meet once a week for three hours. Each session will be divided into lecturing, student presentations, open discussion and practice time to work on real design problems. At the beginning of each class there will be a small quiz to solidify the learning of the previous session. Students will progressively work on a final project, based on the topics covered in class, and will briefly present their progress to their peers once a week. Weekly assignments will be divided into two parts: individual deliveries to assess each student\'s skills to apply the fundamentals learned in class, and team deliveries that will reflect the group\'s ability to apply such fundamentals into a real design problem. The class project will culminate in detailed presentations during the last session, accompanied by a final report.
Grades will be based on the completed assignments, participation in class discussions and lectures, and demonstration of the student\'s understanding of the course material through weekly assignments and the course project. The total grade will be based on:

  • Weekly homework assignments and quiz: 40%
  • Weekly presentations: 10%
  • Final project presentation and report: 40%
  • Class participation: 10%