Green Design & Passive Cooling
Posted: Jul 23 2018
So far, this summer has been hot! If you need somewhere to cool off and want to be friendly to the environment, consider heading to a building with passive cooling.
What do we mean when we say passive cooling?
First, it’s important to know what green design is, as passive cooling is a component of that. Green design is an approach to building that:
- conserves energy
- reduces harmful effects on the environment
- saves money
Passive cooling is a design approach that uses ventilation to control inside temperatures. An effective passive cooling design can help to control heat gain and improve heat distribution. The result is improved indoor thermal comfort (in other words, a comfortable indoor temperature) with low or zero energy consumption.
Roof overhangs, window blinds, or surrounding trees are additional components of passive cooling that enable us to control the amount of direct sunlight enters the building. Roof gardens creative a protective barrier to delay heat transfer while providing additional green spaces. Similarly thick masonry walls also slow transfer of heat from the hot side to the cold side. Since heat transfer moves from hot to cold spaces, these walls slow heat from entering interior spaces during the summer. And in the winter, the walls help to keep heat in.
Ventilation, the circulation of air, is another important part of passive cooling. Architects can control the flow of air by placing windows, walls, and doors in advantageous locations. Occupants can modify the air flow by changing louvers, opening or closing windows and doors.
A building that uses passive cooling might look something like this:
Can you identify buildings around the city that use passive cooling?