The necessity of the improvement in the ventilation techniques in alliance with the sustainable housing systems has been seriously considered by the architects, designers, and developers. Incorporating the necessary design elements and building techniques at the preconstruction help achieve effective and healthy ventilation, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills in the long run.

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Natural ventilation has proven to be a healthy and effective method allowing to cool and heat the building without mechanical systems by determining the most suitable building positioning and incorporating design elements at the preconstruction stage. 

The indoor air quality and health of the residents are influenced greatly by the ventilation. Airtightness improvement, trapping pollutants and humidity, heat and cooling loss minimization are all indicators of sustainable ventilation. The requirements for the advancements in ventilation systems are becoming common for the construction of green and energy-efficient homes. In a sustainable construction approach, all components of the structure and materials are compound to work together in harmony and create an ecological building. Of course, efficient ventilation is a significant factor in this approach.

 

Green whole-house ventilation systems

  • Exhaust ventilation system is more effective for cold climates and operates by exhausting air from the building and letting the fresh air enter through passive vents installed in windows and walls. The main disadvantage of the system is letting pollutants into the house. 

  • Balanced ventilation is a system consisting of two fans and two ducts, introducing and expelling equal amounts of fresh and indoor air. The filters are used to remove the pollution from the outside. 

  • Energy recovery ventilation systems allow reducing energy loss. Two methods of recovery systems are enthalpy and heat recovery. Such systems require maintenance and a regular check for bacteria and mold.  

  • Natural ventilation is an eco-friendly system, which does not release any harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Natural ventilation uses wind and thermal buoyancy to create air movement inside and out of the building without mechanical systems. The two natural ventilation techniques are wind-driven ventilation and stack ventilation. 

 

Natural ventilation

Natural ventilation has proven to be a healthy and effective method allowing to cool and heat the building without mechanical systems by determining the most suitable building positioning and incorporating design elements at the preconstruction stage. 

The design techniques to be considered in natural ventilation:

  • positioning building with the windward wall perpendicular to the summer wind,

  • the depth of the building should be moderate to let the air pass through,

  • window types allowing effective ventilation,

  • consideration of the objects outside which might cause wind obstruction, such as trees and other buildings,

  • placing the air inlets low and air outlets higher opposite the inlet.

In the attempts to harness the stack effect in the building it is important to take into consideration that outside air quality in some locations may be unhealthy and some climates may be unsuitable for natural ventilation. The design has to have enough power for driving the air movement and avoid the elements, which hinder the performance. The building shape helps in achieving the necessary goals by changing the wind directions or accelerating the wind. 

 

Mixed-mode ventilation

Mixed-mode ventilation is a sustainable ventilation approach combining fresh air ventilation with mechanical systems creating a comfortable and healthy indoor climate. Hybrid ventilation allows minimizing energy consumption through minimization of mechanical fan usage. Natural ventilation strategies help reduce the mechanical systems creating an eco-friendly indoor environment. Sensors control indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and pollution level and the system will switch the right mode selecting from natural and mechanical techniques.

 

Buildings ventilation - video