Natural Ventilation of Buildings through Light Shafts. Design- Based Solution Proposals

Padilla-Marcos, Miguel; Meiss, Alberto; Feijó-Muñoz, Jesús.
Conference: WMCAUS 2017 at: Prague, CZ. June 2017

This work analyses how the built environment affects the quality of the air to be introduced into buildings from light shafts. Several factors such as urban environment and building design intervene in the ability of the light shaft to produce its air change process. Urban areas continuously pollute the air in cities which affects the human health and the environment sustainability. Poor air quality outside buildings supposes a big energy waste to promote an acceptable air quality inside buildings. That requires a large flow rate to maintain the indoor air quality which is translated to an energy efficiency term. The main objective focuses on the impact of standardized architecture design in the quality of the indoor air dependent on the air change in the light shaft. The air change capacity of the outdoor space is numbered analysed using the concept of air change efficiency (ACE). ACE is determined by the built environment, the wind conditions and the design of the building containing light shafts. This concept is comparatively evaluated inside a control domain virtually defined to obtain the mean age of the air for a known air volume. The longer the light shaft in the wind direction is, the better the ACE is compared with other options. Light shafts up to 12 metres high are the most suitable in order to obtain acceptable efficiency results. Other studied cases verify that assumption. Different simplified tools for the technicians to evaluate the design of buildings containing light shafts are proposed. Some strategies of architectural design of buildings with light shafts to be used for ventilation are presented.