29 May 2017
Natural ventilation is based on the principle of ensuring a healthy and comfortable indoor climate with minimal energy consumption. For this reason, natural ventilation was the logical choice when Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities set out to sustainably retrofit a pre-1940s building, HouseZero.
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities seeks to address the global environmental challenge of climate change by focusing on existing buildings, which are notoriously energy inefficient and responsible for carbon emissions on a vast scale worldwide. Through intelligent design that generates inspiring work spaces and a comfortable indoor climate, HouseZero achieves groundbreaking reductions in energy consumption and carbon footprints.
To realize this ambition, the design of HouseZero is driven by highly ambitious performance targets, including 100% natural ventilation, 100% daylight autonomy, near-zero energy required for heating and cooling, and zero carbon emissions.
Natural ventilation enables the project to meet its objective, according to Tine Hegli, senior architect at Snøhetta and responsible for the building retrofit:
“Early in the process, we were challenged to achieve unparalleled levels of energy efficiency in the project. Automated natural ventilation allowed us to regulate the indoor climate through minimal energy consumption.”
Ali Malkawi, professor of architectural technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities and creator of the HouseZero project, adds:
“The use of natural ventilation is an essential strategy to reduce energy usage and improve health in buildings. The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities has been pioneering methodologies to more accurately predict the natural ventilation potential of our local environment. This research helped inform HouseZero’s natural ventilation strategy.”
WindowMaster Control Systems, Inc. was chosen as the supplier of the natural ventilation system.
“In HouseZero, our solution controls the natural ventilation, sun screening and underfloor heating and cooling, while communicating with the Siemens control system. The natural ventilation system comprises cross and stack ventilation in the building, while in the basement, we use a passive solar chimney to create the right thermal environment to complement the single-sided ventilation from the facade windows.”
Erik Boyter, WindowMaster President and CEO, says:
“HouseZero is truly a visionary building, and it is great that Harvard is helping to combat the global climate challenge through intelligent building design. Our US team hopes that developers and architects can learn from this sustainable building and the team is pleased to share its knowledge about HouseZero.”
Read more about the project here: http://harvardcgbc.org/research/housezero/
Iconic Harvard building to feature automated natural ventilation
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