Natural Ventilation

Topics to be covered:
1. Climate analysis, thermal comfort and natural ventilation potential.
2. Basics of wind-driven and buoyancy-driven ventilation.
3. Thermal mass and night cooling.
4. Fan-assisted natural ventilation.
5. Overview of tools to model natural ventilation in different stages of the design process, including airflow network tools and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
6. Natural ventilation controls.

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 CFD simulations to assess the natural ventilation potential of a building
– Identify design opportunities to use natural ventilation

Course format
The seminar will meet twice a week. Each session will be divided into lecturing, student presentations, and open discussion regarding real design problems. Students will progressively work on a final project, based on the topics covered in class, which they will present at of the session, accompanied by a final report. Weekly assignments will be divided into individual deliveries to assess each student’s skills to apply the fundamentals learnt in class, and team deliveries to capture the group’s ability to apply such fundamentals to the final project.

Method of evaluation
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.