Design and operating concept for an innovative naturally ventilated library

Recent years have seen increased use of natural ventilation, daylighting, and cooling techniques in UK buildings. This paper describes the design and operating concept of a large, naturally ventilated and illuminated city centre library for Coventry University in the UK. The novel design concept includes four lightwells acting as ventilation inlets, each of which is fed with fresh air from a plenum below the ground floor. A central lightwell and perimeter stacks draw air across each floor plate and provide air extract routes. This strategy enables fresh air to reach the core of the building whilst keeping the external façade sealed for reasons of security and preventing urban noise and pollution. Computer simulation demonstrates that the building is likely to be well ventilated and thermally comfortable. The building and the analyses should increase the confidence of engineers and architects designing sustainable buildings.