Effective natural ventilation in modern apartment buildings

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Conference Proceeding
30th International PLEA Conference Sustainable Habitat For Developing Societies Choosing The Way Forward - Proceedings, 2014, Volume 1 pp. 353 - 360 (8)
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This paper addresses the challenge of evaluating for natural ventilation in modern apartment buildings. A number of natural ventilation design rules of thumb from published literature are listed. Their incorporation into one code for Australia (the Residential Flat Design Code, or RFDC) and India (the National Building Code, or NBC), in relation to apartment buildings is examined. Practical limitations to converting these rules of thumb into effective natural ventilation systems for apartment building designs are discussed. Apartment designs in the moderate locations of Sydney, Australia and Bengaluru, India are also reviewed to assess their effectiveness for natural ventilation. Simulation analysis presented indicate large energy savings are possible if apartments are retrofitted/designed to the proposed code requirements and designs compliant with thumb rules are capable of delivering effective natural ventilation if users choose to operate the apartment in “free running mode” during times when the outside dry bulb temperatures lie in an appropriate band. The paper also discusses how sub-optimal design solutions, affluence and adaptation to more stringent thermal conditions can negate the potential for natural ventilation and calls for proactive efforts to maintain climate responsive design standards and education/policy to encourage the benefits of natural ventilation over airconditioning.
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