Natural Ventilation and Building Physics

As energy consumption continues to grow, there is a pressing need to develop energy efficient technologies both in the supply and demand. At present, hydrocarbons represent over 80% of global energy supply, and the challenge of replacing this with low carbon sources is substantial and may require multi-decade time-scales to be implemented. In the medium term, managing energy demand can offer tremendous opportunity for reducing CO2 emissions and using primary energy sources more effectively. In temperate climates such as the UK, there is great opportunity for using low energy designs, combining natural ventilation with thermal mass and diurnal heat exchange, in such buildings, and thereby reduce energy consumption by over 50%. Motivated by this opportunity and challenge, over the past 6 years, there has been a major research programme at the BP Institute in Cambridge to develop fundamental understanding of natural ventilation flows, and their interaction with thermal mass, to pioneer new strategies for low energy building design which are also compatible with modern buiding regulations and stringent requirements for comfortable interior environments [Holford and Woods(2007), Fitzgerald and Woods(2007), Chenvidyakarn and Woods(2006), Lishman and Woods(2006), Chenvidyakarn and Woods(2005), Fitzgerald and Woods(2004), Gladstone and Woods(2001)].Holford, J. and Woods, A.W. (2007) Thermal mass and the buffering of natural ventilation. J. Fluid Mechanics 580, 3-29.

◾Fitzgerald, S. and Woods, A.W. (2007) On the transition from displacement to mixing ventilation with a localised heat source . Building and Environment 42(6), 2210-2217.
◾Chenvidyakarn, T. and Woods, A.W. (2006) Stratification and Oscillations generated by pre-cooling during transient natural ventilation. Building and Environment 42, 99-112.
◾Lishman, B. and Woods, A.W. (2006) The control of naturally ventilated buildings subject to wind and buoyancy. J. Fluid Mechanics 557, 451-472.
◾Chenvidyakarn, T. and Woods, A.W. (2005) Multiple Steady States in Stack Ventilation. Building and Environment 40:3, 399-410.
◾Fitzgerald, S. and Woods, A.W. (2004) Natural ventilation of a room with vents at multiple levels. Building and Environment 39, 505-521.
◾Gladstone, C. and Woods, A.W. (2001) On buoyancy-driven ventilation of a room with a heated floor. J. Fluid Mechanics 441, 293-314.