Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Natural Ventilation Instead of Air Conditioning

What if breeze outside could be used to cool a building...kind of like a natural fan. That is part of the idea behind a new grant to mechanical enginering professor Paul Linden, who also directs UC San Diego Sustainability Solutions Institute.

We wrote about Linden's work with natural ventilation in conjunction with the San Diego Children's Museum. (It was a past issue of Pulse the Jacobs School alumni magazine.)

Below is part of the announcement that the UC San Diego Sustainability Solutions Institute put out today.

...but first...if you are still reading, you'll probably be interested in UC San Diego's Greenovation Forums. The next one is about sustainability and nature.

UC San Diego Sustainability Solutions Institute (SSI’s) Director and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) professor Paul Linden has been awarded $1.9 Million dollars from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to study the potential for natural ventilation retrofits in California’s commercial building stock. The contract is part of the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program and involves partnerships with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment, ARUP San Francisco, and CPP Wind.

Buildings are responsible for approximately 35% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that natural ventilation in new construction and, more importantly, retrofits could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of California’s commercial building stock. However, the implementation of natural ventilation is impeded by a number of significant barriers.

The goal the research is to conduct a comprehensive study of these issues and provide the knowledge and new tools to the community that will allow owners, designers and policy makers to make informed decisions about the implementation of natural ventilation in California. The proposed program will also provide the first tool in a recognized building energy simulation program to allow the different design alternatives to be analyzed, and for the potential energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions to be calculated accurately. The present limitations make wind-driven natural ventilation a risky strategy for a designer to recommend and so severely hamper its adoption. This program should remove these barriers and provide the tools and information for the appropriate implementation of natural ventilation in commercial buildings.

More information about the CEC’s Building End-Use Energy Efficiency Research program can be found here.

No comments: