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Methodology Applied to the Evaluation of Natural Ventilation in Residential Building Retrofits: A Case Study

The primary objective of this paper is to present the use of a steady model that is able to qualify and quantify available natural ventilation flows applied to the energy retrofitting of urban residential districts. In terms of air quality, natural ventilation presents more efficient solutions compared to active systems. 

This method combines numeric simulations, through the utilization of Ansys Fluent R15.0® and Engineering Equation Solver EES®, with on-site pressurization tests.

Testing consists of the application of the seasonal pressure gradient on the building’s envelope and the calculation of the ventilation flows in three climatic representative conditions (summer, winter, and annual average).

Through the implementation of this methodology to existing buildings it is possible to evaluate the influence of the built environment, as well as key parameters (relative height of the dwelling, number of vertical ventilation ducts, and airtightness of windows) of available natural ventilation. 

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