Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Predicting natural ventilation flows in whole buildings. Part 1: The Viipuri Library


computational fluid dynamics, energy efficiency, free flow open space, natural ventilation, restoration


For energy efficient restoration of historical buildings, especially historic monuments of international importance such as the Viipuri Library by Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), new analytical tools are needed. Of interest to this research is the evaluation of air movement within this building due to spatial composition, which can also prove very useful in helping architects determine how best to renovate and restore historical buildings. The objective is to analyze how radiant heating and passive cooling are currently exploited in the Viipuri Library. The knowledge will be useful to restore this historical building to function efficiently while ensuring that the existing mechanical ventilation systems and natural convective flows work well together after restoration. Computational fluid dynamics will be used to model, simulate and predict multiple environmental conditions to examine spatial layout effects on the ability of natural ventilation to maintain a comfortable thermal environment and acceptable rates of ventilation. The preliminary results demonstrate that airflow and thermal effects can be predicted and validated for any set of conditions, such as specifying which windows or doors are open, and the ambient conditions exterior (e.g., wind and air temperature) and interior (e.g., radiant pipes) to the building.


Tsinghua University Press