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Overview of natural cross-ventilation studies and the latest simulation design tools used in building ventilation-related research

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High-performance insulation, draught stripping and double glazing have effectively sealed off the fresh air routes and have made adequate natural ventilation impossible inside the modern energy-efficient home nowadays. Cross ventilation, a passive cooling method for buildings, is a major type of natural ventilation. Various study approaches have been reported; however, there is still no appropriate simulation tool that can predict the indoor thermal environment of natural ventilation. The typical building energy simulation for investigating a naturally ventilated building adopts thermal simulation and an airflow network. However, the airflow network approach for airflow estimation in building energy simulation cannot accurately predict indoor airflow by solving the pressure-flow algebraic equation, the mass balance equation and hydrostatic pressure variations. Recent advances in computer performance and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software integrated with building energy simulation have made it possible to improve the accuracy to assess the performance of natural ventilation and also to give more realistic predictions of airflow in buildings. This chapter overviews and discusses various network airflow models integrated with CFD in the natural ventilation of buildings. Examples of results obtained with this approach are given to demonstrate the significant effects of such a coupling programme on natural ventilation prediction accuracy.

Keywords: building energy simulation; coupling; energy saving; local dynamic similarity model; multi-zone airflow network model; natural ventilation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/aber.2009.0405

Affiliations: 1: Department of Architecture, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Atsugi, Japan 2: Wind Engineering Research Center, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Atsugi, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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