Building Technology
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
Hi people,

Can IT buildings be naturally ventilated? Please help me with this topic.
Haripriya Dalal
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
Haripiya, Yes, buildings can be naturally ventilated. Of particular interest to you, please note that the Egyptian Architect Hassan Fathy wrote a book on this subject. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
What exactly is it called?
Abdulrahman El-Taliawi
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
well thanks frank
let me elaborate my qs. it means information technology buildings. now these software buildings hav no. of machines for software development so to reduce the heat load , dust free environment these bldgs hav centralised ac.but the disadvantage of the centralised ac adds to the sress created by long hours of work in front of computers on the employees there by reducing their comfort. also ac affects the health the it workers face many problems related to stress i feel natural ventilation is quite important for their comforts but i dont know how to tackle the problem of ac for machines and natural ventilated spaces simultaneouslyso i need help fo same
Haripriya Dalal
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
Hi, You should be more specified in your question. All of ancient sample of architecture use natural method for ventilation. In Iran there's a remarkable style for ventilation in old house of desert. This method is using "Bad-guir". It means vertical elements that collect and lead the wind into interior of a house.
You can search for word " بادگیر"
Reza Mehdi
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
The book by Hassan Fathy referred to above might be the one entitled
"Natural Energy and Venacular Architecture: Principles and Examples With Reference to Hot Arid Climates (ISBN: 0226239179) "

Unfortunately, it's quite rare and prices for this start at $600 US.

There are some other books by Fathy, to be found by doing a search for him at

Eugene Tsui aslo discusses this in his book, Evolutionary Architecture.

One simple way to ventilate buildings is to use the stack effect to draw warm or stale air out of the building. To do this, you provide the structure with one or more "chimney" structures which are powder-coated or painted flat black where the sun can heat them up( as on a roof). When the sun is out, the heat provided by the sun causes an airflow inside the chimney/ pipes. This will draw the cooler air from inside the building.
The make up air can be drawn through the structure's basement from air intake pipes buried in the ground (some means of being able to clean the pipes and prevent animal or insect entry into the pipe is advisable) If you have a fountain in the basement spraying fine mist, the incoming air could be drawn over the fountain and thereby be cooled "swamp cooler" fashion.
You could also have a "living wall" system somewhere in the building which would help cool and purify the air.
The mist spray and the plants will help capture any dust that is pulled inside the system, and the plants will simply make the place more livable. (They could also be food plants...)
This basement fountain is a trick used in ancient Persian architecture from about the 12th Century on.

However, the air that is then drawn into the building will be more humid, which may cause problems with the IT equipment.

In one of Tsui's designs, the exterior of the building has black tubing molded into the surface: the air flow through theses keeps the building exterior cooler than it would otherwise be, thereby reducing the amount of cooling needed in the living space.

When it's built, the Solar Tower in Australia will be very large system using the stack effect to generate electric power.

And the Solar Tower home page:

So the answer is Yes, you can have natural ventilation in an IT building.


Chris Green.
Chris Green
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
Natural ventilation in buildings is usually achieved through use of the stack effect. In other words some form of chimney from lower or ground level spaces with outside exits at roof level.

In the UK chimneys for fires supplied a natural draft through any buildings because the hot air of the fire immediately beneath the chimney would force air to be drawn inwards into the inside spaces.

In Turkey, I have seen in an apartment built around 30 years ago, that every room had a round hole in one wall with a chimney which exits outside on the roof. Perhaps in the past these were used for open hearth fires or maybe enclosed cast-iron stoves.

Similarly, modern apartments in Turkey have a small vent window in the toilet and bathroom spaces to draw air out and upwards from the whole apartment. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
hi mr.Haripya,
Yes,Building can be naturally vantilated in all functional area if architect can accomodate this as a proper way.But here what type of building natural ventilation you want, i mean residential, institutional, office, Market, museum or any other you choose.First of all say what type bldg. you want to say? Then come to point of your q. But my opinion as a responsible architect all type of built form can be natural ventilated.pls say detail...then youcan get ur answer easily.

Architect Alamgir Hossain
Mohd. Alamgir Hossain
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
hi everyone
prashant i agree with most of ur pts of the global image mania
but i meant to say that disadvantage of centralised a/c over natural ventilation is that the problem faced by the employee when his body is subjected to two contrasting environments - conditioned air in the office/workstation and natural air outside the building .. i mean the sudden difference in say temperature , humidity to which the body is subjected .this causes health problems in addition to stress created by the work
providing buffer spaces like semi covered areas between the 2 environs or internal landscaping is one way. can u tell me if any other technichques are possible
now talking about the global image pyche, developing existing local techniques in worksmanship and use of local material is one way to confront it but due to lack of futher inventions in use of traditional material or local construction techniques the architecture of the particular region is vanshing away..
Haripriya Dalal
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
hi chris
chris thanks for the websites ..
Haripriya Dalal
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
see whther that this shap of building can ventilated well
Indika Prathapa
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
i agree with prashant. i doubt it if you could have a 100% naturally ventilated building, but a hybrid solution might be worth a try. my masters thesis project was a IT exploratorium and most of the areas were Air conditioned so as not to cause damage to the equipment, how ever there were transitional spaces where natural ventilation can be used as architectural elements, ranging from small niches in the walls to larger court yards. in this context i beleive what needs to be done is to explore how methods of natural ventilation can be used as a architectural expression. the Commerzbank in Frankfurt by Norman Foster is quite a good example of how hybrid buildings work. there is a article by Sheila J. Bosch where in the Commerzbank is also mentioned. its called "Green Architecture: Symbolic Sustainability or Deep Green Design?" u should probably give a read to this as well. [google the topic]
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
here is the complete e-book on "Natural energy and vernacular architecture" by Hassan Fathy
courtesy of The United Nations University

Goran Johansen
Natural ventilation in it bldgs
Haripriya, For maximum natural ventilation, simply have a roof to keep out the elements because winds always blow sideways along the ground.

For HiTech type buildings, you could use this solution and for clean room areas sensitive to dust, etc you could use radiators shaded from the sun and cooled by the wind.
Frank John Snelling


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