Design Consultancy

In many building types, the use of natural ventilation requires detailed design to ensure that:

  • the air flow pathways are consistent with the use of the building and the design of the control infrastructure in the building, including the location of dampers and sensors which activate the control system
  • the comfort specifications and the ventilation requirements for the interior of the building are satisfied
  • the heat fluxes through the building do not build up unwanted temperature stratification, with cold zones or hot regions developing and affecting the mixing and flow of the air.

Breathing Buildings has a unique team of ventilation experts working under the guidance of Managing Director Dr Shaun Fitzgerald . The team has expertise in modelling and testing novel designs for natural ventilation. Previous projects undertaken include designs for auditoria, shopping malls, multi-storey office buildings, theatres, and apartment buildings. The modelling approach includes the use of analogue water-bath models and dynamic thermal models, calibrated with real building data. Clients include the world's leading architectural firms, engineering consultancies and developers.

The power of analogue water-bath models is that they are incredibly useful in the identification of different flow regimes for naturally ventilated buildings, and enable designers to visualise flows in three dimensions in real time - there is no other design tool which can do this!

Example: Video 1 shows the model of a two storey office linked to an atrium, and where both floors have upflow displacement ventilation. However, we investigated the potential flow regimes in depth and discovered that for the same physical conditions of window sizes, heat loads and heights, a different flow regime could be established. Video 2 shows the case in which the top floor has a reverse flow. Our design work helps identify the range of flow regimes which can be established, and importantly, how the natural ventilation control system can be configured in order to either mitigate the risks of multiple flow regimes or actually use them to benefit the building!!!

For further information, please contact .

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