Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

An investigation of naturally ventilated teaching spaces with windcathers in secondary school where site is constrained by noise and air pollution


school buildings, natural ventilation, thermal performance, indoor air quality, summertime overheating, CFD simulation


Built environment consumes the bulk of the UK’s fossil fuel. Schools account for 15% of the public sector’s carbon emissions. Energy efficient building design can play a vital role in achieving the national carbon emission reduction target of 80% by 2050. Natural and mixed mode ventilation is at the forefront of suggested energy efficient strategies for reducing carbon emissions from schools while maintaining good indoor air quality and thermal comfort. However, it is challenging to naturally ventilate many urban school buildings through side openings because of high noise and particulate air pollution. An alternative strategy, such as multi floor operation of windcatchers was assessed in this research as a sole source of fresh air in teaching spaces. Dynamic thermal simulation (DTS) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations assessed the performance of the adopted natural ventilation (NV) strategy in meeting the approved requirements for fresh air, indoor air quality (IAQ) and summertime overheating. Simulation results show that it is challenging to meet approved guidelines on air quality and thermal comfort, only when windcatchers are employed for ventilation purpose. However, fan assisted ventilation in conjunction with windcatchers provided satisfactory results. Detailed performance assessments using CFD seem desirable to validate DTS based findings.


Tsinghua University Press