Air and Architect, 10 tips to improve nature ventilation of your building
Updated: Jul 11, 2019
Cocoon House embraced with rain, wind and sunlight
Cocoon House is an amazing renovation of old building in Vietnam. This building was renovated by Landmak Architecture in 2016. Since there are some regulation to renovate old house. The architects decided to add a kitchen block at the back with the roof as terrace for the master bedroom on the second floor. The old balconies at both ends of the house were skinned with ventilation brick blocks. Inside this skin the space was left for rain, wind and sunlight to shine through. The idea of a cocoon was born, where there is still access to nature, but filtered through the security factor.
There are several ways to improve ventilation of buildings. Natural ventilation, Exhaust-only mechanical ventilation, Supply-only mechanical ventilation, Balanced ventilation, Balanced ventilation with heat recovery. Nature ventilation is one of basic way to introduce fresh and cool air without using air-conditioning or other types of mechanically driven devices. Natural ventilation is created by the differences in the distribution of air pressures around a building. Air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, with gravity and wind pressure affecting the airflow. Another term associated with natural ventilations is “passive cooling”. The placement and control of doors and windows will alter natural ventilation patterns.
5 simple ways to use natural ventilation for homes that are designed
Cover pavements and surrounding grounds with grass or other low heat absorbing materials. By opting for grass, for example, the heat retained in the ground is very minimal. This greatly helps directing cool air inside your home or building.
Images © Daderot
Earth mounds are an amazing example of biomimicry that derive their air circulation concepts from insect mounds and black-tailed prairie dogs. They are great to add as a part of your home/garden/yard landscape to help aid air circulation, especially in the summer months.
Like in many oriental landscapes and home designs, water is an important element. Fountains, pools or swimming pools can act as transition spaces where air is naturally cooled before passing through interiors.
Wicker or bamboo furnishings
These materials are able to encourage good air flow due to their airy construction and low heat retention. Wicker and bamboo are ideal for the outdoors, but also work great indoors.
Frequent opening of windows
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people rarely open windows in their homes for reasons ranging from noise, to dust and safety concerns. This reduces the need for electric fans or other cooling systems and depending on where you live, fresh air can also improve indoor air quality.
5 simple ways to use natural ventilation for new homes
Installing windows that are at least 3.6 feet high helps indoor air movement and also reduces the heat load on ceilings.
These can be positioned either horizontally or vertically to redirect air flow and can be installed in the form of overhangs, louvers or slats and should be placed on a higher level to redirect air motion.
Clerestories not only provide natural illumination, but can also improve air movement. Since hot air is known to go upward, a clerestory is able to act as a vent and space for the hot air to accumulate. Using electric window openers can helping you open those high windows, where you couldn’t reach.
Windows should be placed on the north and south areas for optimum cross-ventilation, unless it hinders aesthetic views. This encourages natural breeze and draws in good air flow into interiors, especially during the summer months.
Incorporate courts, balconies, atriums and other open spaces that encourage air flow.
The advantages of natural ventilation are compelling. The energy costs are dramatically lowered down, air quality is improved and chemical substances released in the air by air conditioners or other mechanical devices is minimized. Overall, using natural ventilation in your home can have a tremendous positive impact on its occupants, the building itself and the environment.
Images © Trieu Chien