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Environmental performance of a naturally ventilated city centre library

journal contribution
posted on 10.09.2009, 13:07 by Birgit Krausse, Malcolm Cook, Kevin Lomas
To tackle climate change it is essential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. To this end, it is important to reduce the energy demands of nondomestic buildings. Naturally ventilated buildings can have low energy demands but the strategy is difficult to implement in deep plan, urban locations. The Frederick Lanchester Library at Coventry University, UK, incorporates natural ventilation, daylighting and passive cooling strategies. By using lightwells and perimeter stacks to supply and exhaust air, it can be ventilated by natural means despite its deep plan form and sealed fac¸ade. This paper describes the building and presents the energy consumption and the internal temperatures and CO2 levels recorded in 2004/2005. The building’s performance is compared to the original design criteria and good practice guidelines. Recommendations for the design of such buildings are made and the likely performance in other UK cities is assessed. It is concluded that the building uses under half the energy of a standard air-conditioned building and yet, in summer, can keep the interior comfortable and up to 5 8C below ambient. The design would perform equally well in the typical weather conditions experienced at 13 other UK cities, but not in London. It is concluded that deep-plan, naturally ventilated buildings with sealed facades, if well designed, could maintain thermal comfort in all but a very few UK locations, whilst consuming much less energy than even good practice standards.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


KRAUSSE, B., COOK, M.J. and LOMAS, K.J., 2007. Environmental performance of a naturally ventilated city centre library. Energy and Buildings, 39 (7), pp. 792-801


© Elsevier


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